TUD finally OKs water purchase

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

The Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors approved a contract with the Chicken Ranch Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians on Tuesday that will allow the district to pump water out of New Melones Reservoir this summer.

A previous contract for the tribe to purchase up to 2,400 acre-feet of water stored in New Melones Reservoir from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, a senior water rights holder on the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River, was approved by the TUD board on March 11.

The tribe had already negotiated to buy the water from SSJID at $200 per acre-foot and sell it to TUD at the same price.

The contract approved Tuesday outlines how the arrangement between TUD and the tribe will work.

TUD will pay the tribe $200 for each acre-foot it pumps out of New Melones, and the tribe will then pay the same amount to SSJID. The tribe gets to keep 100 acre-feet of the 2,400 that's available, and will reimburse TUD for the cost to pump and deliver that water.

For the complete story, see the May 29, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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