A Water History
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.
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.
Want to know more? Read "The Greening of Paradise Valley" for the complete history of the MID.
Reservoir Levels as of Sat, May 8, 2021
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.
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.
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.
Water Related Links
- Customer Service
- Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- (209) 526-7337
- or (888) 335-1643 toll-free
- Modesto Irrigation District
- 1231 11th Street, Modesto
- Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- (209) 526-7373
- Power Outages / Electrical Emergencies
- (209) 526-8222 (day or night)
- Toll Free (888) 897-8222 (day or night)