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Hearings set for future water use
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Public hearings concerning two critical water issues will take place in Modesto next week, including an evaluation of the proposed North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, and continued discussions on the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee’s recently proposed groundwater management framework.

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public scoping meeting to solicit public input on topics to be addressed during their environmental analysis of the potential impacts of the much-anticipated North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, in addition to any significant concerns and issues regarding the project.

Under the proposed program, up to 59,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water produced by the cities of Turlock and Modesto would be delivered via the Delta-Mendota Canal. Recycled water would be conveyed from Modesto and Turlock through pipelines from their wastewater treatment facilities, crossing the San Joaquin River, and ending at the Delta-Mendota Canal. The recycled water would then be conveyed directly to Del Puerto Water District customers or to the San Luis Reservoir for storage during low water demand periods.

Additionally, the program proposes to provide water to Central Valley Project Improvement Act-designated refuges south of the Delta, to help such communities meet their need for water supply. The program is estimated to create approximately 572 ongoing jobs, in addition to reducing reliance on area groundwater supplies. 

The public scoping meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Modesto City Hall, located at 1010 10th Street, Modesto.

On Wednesday, the Stanislaus County Water Advisory committee will continue discussing their recently released draft groundwater management framework, which will monitor groundwater levels, establish and fund a governing structure, enforce regulations, and possibly compensate families whose private wells go dry. The committee may also require farmers to report how much groundwater they are pumping, which will be used as data for the county to better understand groundwater issues throughout Stanislaus.

The Water Advisory Committee will continue discussing the draft framework at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, located at 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto.