Modesto Irrigation District postpones vote on SF water sale

jholland@modbee.comJune 14, 2012 

TLB MID 3

TRACY BARBUTES / tbarbutes@modbee.com The Modesto Irrigation District offices in downtown Modesto, Calif., on October 10, 2011.

TRACY BARBUTES — Modesto Bee

— The Modesto Irrigation District announced this afternoon that it is postponing until July 10 a possible board vote on selling water to San Francisco.

The board had planned on taking up the first sale contract June 26. The delay will allow the MID and San Francisco to finish revisions to the contract and for public review before the vote, district spokeswoman Melissa Williams said.

The first sale would involve 2,240 acre-feet of Tuolumne River water, which is 1.6 percent of the MID’s average annual deliveries to farmers and the treatment plant serving the Modesto area.

The board also could vote to launch the environmental study needed for the sale of an additional 25,000 acre-feet — water freed up by conservation projects on the canal system.

The proposal has drawn opposition from people concerned that it would mean shortages in dry years for farmers and domestic users supplied by the MID.

Supporters say the income from San Francisco could pay for major upgrades to the canals, meaning no major rate increases for farmers.

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