MID General Manager invites Governor Newsom to Merced to learn firsthand about Bay Delta


December 14, 2021

Merced Irrigation District General Manager John Sweigard issued the following open invitation to Governor Gavin Newsom today.

For years, we have worked in good faith with the State Water Board, your secretaries and your staff. Despite our best efforts, and backed by solid science about salmon and the Merced River, we have not been able to reach a settlement agreement that would protect our community’s water supply under the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan. I would like to personally invite you to come to our community and learn firsthand about the tremendous amount of work we have undertaken to support salmon on the Merced River, as well as the impacts the Bay Delta Plan would have on our already disadvantaged communities. We believe there are still alternatives to the Bay Delta Plan that could benefit the state’s goals while still protecting our community’s water supply.

Lake McClure is owned and operated by Merced Irrigation District. The reservoir is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It provides local water supply, flood control, hydroelectric generation, support of the statewide electric grid, and water for the local environment and wildlife preserves. The water from Lake McClure is crucial for helping replenish local groundwater used by cities and provides water to farmers in eastern Merced County.

The invitation to Governor Newsom follows a meeting by the State Water Resources Control Board on December 8. During the meeting, discussion ensued about the state’s plans to divert water from Lake McClure to the Bay Delta. Numerous organizations lobbied for the State Water Board to move quickly. Some speakers called on the State Water Board to begin diverting water from Lake McClure as early as the beginning of the new year under emergency orders.

Following that meeting, MID’s Sweigard called on every resident of Atwater, Merced, Livingston and the surrounding communities to write to Governor Newsom and the State Water Board. Today, he also invited the Governor to visit Merced.

Contact information for Governor Newsom and State Water Board officials, as well as an online petition, can be found at www.SaveMercedsWater.com

For additional information about the Bay Delta Plan and eastern Merced County’s water supply, please click here.



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