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Council considers next step in recycled water project
wastewater plant pic2
Council will consider moving forward with the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project, a proposal to sell treated wastewater from Turlock to farmers in west Stanislaus County. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Turlock City Council will consider taking another step forward on the proposed North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program at a special meeting set for 2:30 p.m. today.

The Council will vote on a motion to approve a Memorandum of Understanding to create a Cooperating Agency Agreement between the Department of the Interior, the City of Turlock, the City of Modesto and Del Puerto Water District for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed recycle water project.

The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project is a proposal to sell treated wastewater from Turlock to farmers in west Stanislaus County by developing what would be one of the largest regional recycled water projects in the nation.

The roughly $100 million project would help provide a reliable water supply to the 45,000 acres of farmland serviced by the Del Puerto Water District, using treated recycled water from the cities of Turlock and Modesto that would be pumped to the westside through the Harding Drain Bypass and into the Delta-Mendota Canal. The Delta-Mendota Canal is a federal entity that afforded Del Puerto growers zero inches of water last year due to the ongoing drought.

According to a report prepared by City staff, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation invited the City of Turlock to participate as a cooperating agency because of the City's involvement in the project. As a cooperating agency, the City assumes certain responsibilities, including assisting the lead agency in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement as it pertains to the City of Turlock's area of expertise or authority.

By entering into the Memorandum of Understanding, the City of Turlock will have no additional financial or legal obligations.

The Turlock Irrigation District has stated an interest in using the City's treated wastewater for its own irrigation purposes. If the City does not provide Del Puerto water through the Harding Drain Bypass it could owe the State of California millions of dollars because state funds used to construct the drain stipulated how it must be used. 

The City has had ongoing discussions with TID on how to fulfill its grant agreement and work with the local irrigation district.

The special City Council meeting  is open to the public and will be held at 2:30 p.m. today in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.