Supply and Operations
The Merced Irrigation District was formed on December 8, 1919. It is comprised of a service area spanning more than 164,000 gross acres. Of that, approximately 132,000 are irrigable acres with 100,000 of them receiving MID water. The total distribution system of MID spans 862 miles. It is comprised of natural waterways, unlined and lined canals, sloughs and pipelines.
MID holds some of the most senior water rights in the state, owning and operating Lake McClure in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada. The reservoir has a capacity of approximately 1,025,000 acre feet.
MID operates it for water storage, flood control, recreation, and hydroelectric generation, among other things. In addition to benefitting local agriculture and groundwater resources, the reservoir provides incalculable environmental benefits, including for migrating salmon.
Water is diverted below New Exchequer Dam from two locations along the Merced River: MID’s Main Canal and its Northside Canal. MID’s water conveyance system spans more than 860 miles and serves approximately 2,200 growers. The vast majority of them represent generational family farms spanning fewer than 50 acres. MID also maintains 215 wells in support of its conjunctive management activities for groundwater and surface water.