TID, Council to Consider Next Steps in Surface Water Treatment Plant Agreement

TurlockCityNews.com

The Turlock Irrigation District and City Council could take steps on Tuesday to complete a water sales agreement that would give reliable drinking water to Turlock for the next five decades.

TID has been in talks with the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA) on a water sale agreement that would deliver river water to Turlock, Ceres, and Modesto.

The SRWA was formed in 2011 by the cities of Turlock, Ceres, and Modesto to negotiate the terms of a water supply agreement.

Per the agreement that the TID Board of Directors will vote on Tuesday morning, TID would provide the cities 30,000 acre-feet of water from the Tuolumne River, annually for the next 50 years.

Before the water would be considered usable for municipal use, the water would need to undergo treatment at a yet-to-be-constructed treatment plant, which would be owned and operated by the SRWA.

The treatment plant, which has been in discussion since 1987 and comes with a more than $100 million price tag, would guarantee a long-term reliable water supply for the City of Turlock, which is currently dependent on a dwindling groundwater supply for its drinking water.

To make the deal happen, the SRWA has agreed to provide offset water to TID in dry years — years in which TID farmers do not receive 48 inches of water for irrigation. The offset water would be a combination of recycled water and non-potable well water from the cities.

Offset water would be determined by a formula that takes the percentage of reduction for irrigation customers times the amount of water supplied to the cities. Additionally, water delivered to cities would be reduced by the percentage of reduction to farmers.

For example, if TID farmers are allocated 36 inches of water in a dry year — a 25 percent reduction — TID would provide 22,500 acre-feet of water to the SRWA and would in turn receive 11,500 acre-feet in offset water.

As a note in the agreement, TID would never request more offset water than it is delivering to the cities for municipal use.

The Turlock City Council will also take an additional step on Tuesday evening to move forward with the water supply agreement.

According to the agreement, the City of Turlock will provide 2,000 acre-feet of baseline recycled water annually to TID. On Tuesday evening, Council will consider evidencing that stipulation of the agreement as part of the consent calendar.

If the water agreement is approved by TID, the agreement would be voted on by the SRWA to finalize the deal.

The TID Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Board Room of TID’s Main Officer, 333 E. Canal Dr.

Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

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