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One Water Sale Hurdle Crossed

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Sonora, CA — The “Humanitarian Water Transfer to Tuolumne County residents” has been approved, but the water is not flowing yet. Last night, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District Board of Directors (SSJID) voted to sell 2,400 acre ft. of water out of New Melones, at a price of $200 an acre ft. to Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD).

SSJID Spokesperson Troylene Vallow says, “TUD has to vote on it. We are prepared to do it.” There is no word on when TUD will vote on the issue. However, TUD General Manager Tom Scesa did say at Tuesday’s board meeting that he wanted the “New Melones pump station online as soon as possible.”

There are still several steps needed before Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) will be able to pump water from New Melones Lake. The State Water Board and the federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) would also need to approve the sale. Vallow does not believe that will be a problem, saying, “This is an emergency situation. We’ve definitely heard from water organizations and that they want to make sure that it happens quickly. The BOR is really involved, I think, in approving and assisting with this transfer.”

T.U.D.’s main water supply comes from Lyons Reservoir and Pinecrest Lake. Click here for an earlier story detailing the sale.