OAKDALE -- Representatives of the Oakdale Irrigation District and San Francisco planned to meet today on a proposed one-year water sale to the city.
The negotiations were to take place in San Diego during the fall conference of the Association of California Water Agencies, district General Manager Steve Knell said Tuesday.
He planned to brief his board on the outcome Dec. 11 and possibly ask for a Dec. 18 vote on a sale contract. The price and other details have not been disclosed.
A San Francisco official told The Bee last month that the city is seeking a dry-year backup of 2,240 acre-feet of water, about 1 percent of the OID's typical use in a year.
That was the same amount that the city sought in an initial purchase from the Modesto Irrigation District. Its board dropped the idea in September after a year of bitter protest from people concerned that it could mean dry-year water shortages in the Modesto area.
San Francisco agreed to a starting price of $700 per acre-foot in the MID sale, about 70 times what the district's farmers paid this year. OID farmers paid even less.
Knell said the OID deal might have a clause requiring payment by San Francisco whether or not the water is used the same as in the MID proposal.
The storm season has started out strong, unlike last year, but a dry winter or spring could mean that the city needs the supplement.
The OID has been a prominent part of the water market that has emerged in California in the past three decades. It recently reached the end of transfers that provided about 41,000 acre-feet a year to Stockton-area domestic users and Stanislaus River fishery flows.
The district's policy is to use income from urban water transfers and expanded irrigation to pay for upgrades to its system.
The OID would not actually deliver Stanislaus River water to San Francisco. Instead, it would send an equal amount to the MID via an existing connection. The MID in turn would allow San Francisco to divert extra water into its Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System on the Tuolumne River, upstream of where the Modesto district draws its supply.
MID officials have not been approached about this arrangement or taken a position, spokeswoman Melissa Williams said Tuesday.
The OID also is negotiating a sale of up to 2,400 acre-feet a year to the city of Brisbane. It is next to San Francisco and also supplied by the Hetch Hetchy system.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.