The Turlock Irrigation District is hoping to change the way the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, which is comprised of the cities of Turlock, Ceres and Modesto, manages its water resources.
In its first night meeting on Tuesday, the TID Board of Trustees will consider a resolution that imposes conditions for the transfer of Tuolumne River water by TID to the Authority. TID's main concerns: the City of Turlock's export of recycled water out of the Turlock basin to the Del Puerto Water District and the ever dwindling water supply.
"TID has strongly expressed its concerns that the export of recycled water out of the Turlock Subbasin will eliminate the ability to reuse that recycled water within the Turlock Subbasin where the water originated. Reusing water within the Subbasin would reduce the cities' increasing potable water demands and to help recharge the Subbasin," states the TID staff report on the issue.
TID has been fighting the Del Puerto agreement that would see a 13,000-acre foot annual transfer of Turlock’s tertiary treated recycled water to help benefit both regions under a five-year agreement. Claiming that the water in question had been previously promised to TID, district president Ron Macedo requested that the City consider postponing the agreement in January until the two agencies had met to discuss the confusion.
In June, the City Council decided to move forward with the next stage of the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project – the roughly $100 million project that will help provide a reliable water supply to the 45,000 acres of farmland serviced by the Del Puerto Water District, using treated tertiary recycled water from the cities of Turlock and Modesto that would be pumped to the Westside through the Delta-Mendota Canal.
Although the collaborative partnership between Del Puerto and the cities of Turlock, Modesto, and Ceres was established through an agreement in 2010, city officials say that the project has been in discussions over the past 20 years. In 2010 and 2012, feasibility studies were conducted to determine whether the project was possible, while also finding the most viable option to connect Turlock and Modesto’s wastewater treatment facilities directly to Del Puerto’s irrigation users.
TID is also concerned about providing the water to the Authority with the recent groundwater mandates put into effect due to the drought.
"...the irrigation water brought into the Turlock Subbasin is the primary source of groundwater recharge within the Subbasin. However, surface water supplies historically available to TID for irrigation are expected to be reduced significantly due to additional instream flow mandates as part of regulatory processes before the State Water Resources Control Board and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. These issues underscore the need to keep Turlock Subbasin water supplies within the Turlock Subbasin," states TID staff.
The TID Board of Trustees will consider holding public workshops about the water resources issue on Aug. 12 and 13, in addition to gathering additional input on the district's proposed reductions in the amount of water it will provide to the Authority.
Tuesday's night meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held at 6 p.m. in the TID Board Room, 333 E. Canal Dr.