Main Canal Reservoir

The Main Canal Reservoir Project (MCR Project) is a 265 acre foot regulating reservoir that was built in 2020 at the Lateral 3 Headworks. In addition to the reservoir, the project includes four water control structures, two flow measurement flumes downstream of the project site, a new Supervisory Control Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and system integration. The MCR Project was designed to regulate water flows to better match downstream demands for both MID’s Main Canal and Lateral 3.

Through implementation, MID’s operational flexibility is increased by allowing short-term changes in the upper reaches of MID’s water delivery system. This allows for faster responses to imbalances in the irrigation supplies and water demands downstream of Lateral 3 and the Main Canal bifurcation – which accounts for nearly three-quarters of MID’s irrigation acreage. Flow rates and water levels are automatically monitored and controlled and communication enhancements allow MID to account for flow fluctuation and make corresponding adjustments remotely in real-time.

The addition of strategically located flow measurements within the MCR Project has provided the ability to monitor and capture unregulated inflows in the Lower Main Canal and put that water to beneficial use.

The MCR Project leads to numerous benefits for both our local community and management of one of our most precious natural resources – water. The reservoir bottom is unlined providing additional positive contributions to the overall health of groundwater resources within the Modesto Subbasin.