Modesto Irrigation District leaders on Tuesday backed off previous opposition to a future treatment plant supplying tap water to homes and businesses in Turlock and Ceres.
MID a month ago objected to the cities' plan, saying that diverting water normally meant for farming could harm MID's water rights to the Tuolumne River. That opposition could have killed the plan and harmed MID's relationship with the Turlock Irrigation District, which shares MID's water rights and which aims to build and operate the treatment plant for the cities.
On Tuesday, both water boards unanimously approved a "clarification agreement" guaranteeing that the plant won't be "injurious to MID's water rights." The document says MID's opposition has been "satisfactorily addressed and MID now considers these concerns and objections moot."
"I'm glad to see this resolved in a very happy manner for both MID and TID," said Nick Blom, MID board chairman.
The partnership of Turlock and Ceres, known as the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, hopes to begin construction in 2020 at a site along the river near Hughson, and the plant is expected to cost up to $200 million. For more than 20 years, MID has operated its own treatment plant near Waterford, supplying tap water for Modesto and the city's customers in Salida, Empire, Grayson, Del Rio and parts of Ceres and Turlock.
Garth Stapley: 209-578-2390