The Turlock Irrigation District hosted a public meeting Tuesday night for community members to voice their views and pose questions about the potential Domestic Water Project, which has two water districts at odds.
The project in question involves building a surface water treatment plant in conjunction with the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, which embodies the cities of Turlock, Ceres, and Modesto. The plant would treat Tuolumne River water in order to make safe drinking water as groundwater sources continue to decrease.
TID’s position includes partnering with the SRWA for the Domestic Water Project to improve the local groundwater basin. However, the district also wants to minimize the impact and risk to existing irrigation customers and use recycled water locally.
The use of the City of Turlock’s recycled water has prompted concerns from the Del Puerto Water District, which claims to have a preceding deal with the city for the water.
Tou Her, Assistant General Manager of Water Resources at TID, provided an in depth explanation of what the project would entail to the public Tuesday night.
Her defined the objectives of the project as meeting the existing and projected demands of cities while reducing the reliance on groundwater supply, managing water resources to provide a sustainable supply for both agricultural and urban users, and providing benefits to the fish and other aquatic resources in the Tuolumne River.
The meeting attracted a noticeable turn out of community members, although only four audience members stood up to voice their concerns, including Supervisor Vito Chiesa who emphasized the need for the community to work together to find a viable solution.
Although the Board heard some concerns Tuesday, they still are hoping the community will utilize the third public meeting tonight to speak up about their concerns and ask all questions they might have regarding this project.
Those interested in voicing their views and concerns to the Board will have another opportunity at 6 p.m. tonight, a later time designated by the district to accommodate to more community members’ schedules. The public meeting will be held in the TID Boardroom at 333 E. Canal Dr.