Learn more about MIDís potential water transfers


(Archived Information)

MID is currently evaluating possibly selling water to the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) as a result of the MID Board of Directors direction to explore potential alternative sources of revenue to:

  • Fund necessary upgrades, automation and efficiency improvements to MID’s aging irrigation system.
  • Pay for the relicensing of Don Pedro.
  • Address increasing regulatory and legislative water-related mandates.

These and other significant expenses are projected over the next decade for the protection of MID’s water rights and the continued reliability and flexibility of MID’s irrigation system.

CCSF has stated for many years that it is in need of new water supply to meet its customers’ needs.  Given the proximity of San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy System above Don Pedro Reservoir, potential transfers of water from MID to CCSF could be done easily with no new infrastructure required.  With CCSF’s large customer base, and the high value of drinking water in the Bay Area, CCSF could offer MID a relatively high price for water. 

Revenues from water transfers to CCSF could pay for the necessary irrigation system improvements and in turn the irrigation system improvements would increase system and water use efficiencies so that sufficient water would be available for transfer. 

MID is currently negotiating terms and conditions for potential water transfers to CCSF.  For more information on the discussion considerations, please see MID’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Impacts on MID water rates

Unless an external source of revenue is identified to cover the irrigation system improvements, Don Pedro relicensing and other water regulatory and legislative expenses, they will necessarily fall to MID customers in the form of water rate increases.  These expenses could lead to a five-fold or greater increase in MID water rates.  The same increase would be reflected in the raw water charge paid by the City of Modesto as MID treats the City’s drinking water.

Potential transfers would start small

Such transfers would initially start very small, approximately 2,200 acre feet per year – less than one percent of MID’s annual average water diversions.  This transfer concept was included in CCSF’s Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) Environmental Impact Report and is additionally discussed in the WSIP Environmental Impact Report Supplemental Review Memo.

MID is also evaluating the potential to gradually increase the amount of water transferred to 25,000 acre feet per year.  If MID proceeds with such a 25,000 acre foot transfer, a full California Environmental Qualifications Act (CEQA) environmental review would be required.

Next steps

To date, MID has conducted several community meetings and presentations and addressed many customer questions and comments on this water transfer concept. 

MID completed negotiations with CCSF for the potential 2,200 acre foot water transfer. As promised, the revised draft contract is available for public review.

Discussion, consideration and possible action on this contract was delayed in July and has not yet been rescheduled. A draft resolution for the potential 2,200 AF transfer and a draft resolution for commencing the environmental review process for a potential 25,000 AF water transfer are now available for review.

Please check this page regularly for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Community presentations and publications

External links
City and County of San Francisco
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission - San Francisco Water Power Sewer