Merced Irrigation District in battle with state over water rights

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local water officials are urging residents to get involved in a battle with the state over water rights.

The State Water Board had a lengthy meeting Wednesday and discussed how to proceed with implementing the Bay Delta Plan.

The Merced Irrigation District says the plan will take up to half of eastern Merced County's water supply from Lake McClure and send it north to the Bay Delta.

The state board maintains the movement of water from the Valley is needed during the drought to combat water shortages in the Delta Watershed.

But MID says the state is stealing the supply and that the economic impacts would be devastating to local residents.

"We're a severely disadvantaged community and the water supply that the Merced Irrigation District holds for the eastern Merced County residents is the most valuable thing we have probably, and they're coming for it," says MID General Manager John Sweigard.

The Merced Irrigation District says Lake Mclure, Yosemite, Don Pedro, New Melones and smaller reservoirs that feed into farms and provide groundwater recharge to the county and cities would be impacted.

The group is encouraging eastern Merced County residents to call Governor Newsom.
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