I’ve been following the Modesto Irrigation District operations for over the last 10 years. I find MID to be one of the poorest managed and operated businesses in the county.
MID is a non-regulated special district of the state of California. It operates three businesses – electric power and distribution, irrigation and the Modesto regional water treatment plant. Rates charged for the services of each of the special districts, by law, should be based on cost of service.
A review of the budgets for each of the three special districts shows the power and distribution district making a profit, the irrigation district losing money and the regional water treatment plant breaking even. But MID bundles all three special districts into one, which shows the MID as a well-run and -managed special district. If the audit were to show each of the special districts individually, you would see how poorly managed the district has been.
A look at the 2012 water balance shows MID to have surface water in addition to crop demand of 108,000 acre feet for groundwater recharge from deep irrigation. The 108,000 acre feet is surplus water that has a value of at least $350 an acre foot. A well-managed MID would be getting maximum value for its surplus surface water.
Ross Campbell, Modesto