A Water History

Contact Information

Irrigation Operations
Mon. - Fri. 7am to 4pm 
(209) 526-7639

Customer Service
Mon. - Fri. 8am to 5pm
(209) 526-7337 or
(888) 335-1643 toll-free

Watering Schedule informationLooking for outdoor watering days and hours?

The City of Modesto provides these services. Please check the City's web site for information about watering schedules: City of Modesto water restrictions

The story of the MID begins with water…or rather the lack of it. It was that one issue that led to the creation of a California irrigation district law.

Reservoir Levels | Senior Water Rights | Storage | Ag Water Management | Conservation

MID's 208 miles of canals operate on a gravity flow system. Canals were completed in 1903 and the first official MID irrigation season opened in 1904.

MID provides irrigation water to approximately 60,000 acres, typically between mid-March and mid-October each year. Modesto receives an average of 12.21" of rain per rainfall year (July 1-June 30).

Stanislaus County's top 10 commodities are: milk, almonds, chickens, chicken eggs, turkeys, grapes, walnuts, cattle and calves, tomatoes and peaches.

The water story opened a new chapter in 1994 when MID began operating the Modesto Regional Water Treatment Plant. MID treats surface water and sells it to one customer - the City of Modesto. Phase Two is currently under development.

Want to know more? Read "The Greening of Paradise Valley" for the complete history of the MID.

Current Reservoir Levels - Sat, Dec 10, 2016 02 pm

Modesto Reservoir Levels
Gauge: 20.65 ft      
Elevation: 204.64 ft   Max. Elevation: 210 ft
Storage: 16,999 ac-ft   Max. Storage: 28,000 ac-ft
Don Pedro Reservoir Levels
Elevation: 771.17 ft   Max. Elevation: 830 ft
Storage: 1,370,390 ac-ft   Max. Storage: 2,030,000 ac-ft
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Senior water rights

As the second irrigation district established in California, MID – together with Turlock Irrigation District (TID) – holds senior water rights on the Tuolumne River.

All MID water rights are put to beneficial use, either as water storage, irrigation water for agriculture, water for drinking and other urban uses, or environmental water releases that support fish, wildlife and river ecosystems.

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Water storage

Don Pedro Reservoir and Dam, dedicated in 1971 and owned by MID and TID, were built for water storage, power generation and recreation.  The facilities also provide flood control under the direction of the Army Corp of Engineers.

Don Pedro Reservoir is the sixth largest body of water in California.  When full, the reservoir is 26 miles long with 160 miles of shoreline and a capacity of more than two million acre-feet.

MID and TID are currently in the multi-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process for relicensing Don Pedro.

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Agricultural Water Management Plan

MID has been actively involved in agricultural water management planning efforts since joining the Agricultural Water Management Council (AWMC) in the late 1990’s. As such, MID’s first Agricultural Water Management Plan (AWMP) was prepared in voluntary compliance with provisions of California Assembly Bill 3616 in 1999. MID’s 1999 AWMP was submitted and approved by the AWMC on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Legislation passed in 2009, commonly referred to as SBx7-7, made the once voluntary program mandatory and required an updated AWMP be completed in 2012, 2015 and every five years thereafter.

MID's 2012 AWMP describes MID’s water supplies and irrigation demand, local conditions, facilities and operations, rules and policies and a variety of water management activities, including a series of efficient water management practices (EWMPs) designed to improve water use efficiency. In accordance with SBx7 and the Governor's Executive Order B-29-15, MID updated the AWMP in 2015.

MID's 2015 AWMP is intended to comply with these requirements as well as serve as a short-term strategic plan for the MID Irrigation Operations Division while complementing the ongoing long-range planning document - MID's Comprehensive Water Resource Management Plan.

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Conservation Program

On December 15, 2015, the MID Board of Directors approved MID's 2015 Agricultural Water Management Plan inclusive of revised Conservation Program Guidelines. MID's Conservation Program (Program) provides partial funding to qualifying MID landowners for projects that conserve water and improve water management after the eligible project is completed. Projects must meet certain eligibility criteria and be pre-approved by MID. These guidelines provide information on eligible projects, applicant eligibility, available funding, application process, project ranking criteria, contractual obligations and the anticipated annual schedule.

The objective of the Program is to encourage landowners, through financial incentives, to invest in physical improvements and management practices that conserve water and improve water management. The long-term goal of the Conservation Program is to improve water management within MID.

The Program is an annual program subject to funding and approval by the MID Board of Directors on an annual basis. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact the Irrigation Operation Division at (209) 526-7563 for further details.

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Modesto Irrigation District
1231 11th Street, Modesto
Mon-Fri. 8am - 5pm
(209) 526-7373

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 4060
Modesto, CA 95352-4060

Customer Service
Mon. - Fri, 8am to 5pm
(209) 526-7337 or
(888) 335-1643 toll-free

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