Merced Irrigation District fights state rights to water

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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 held a lengthy meeting on Wednesday and discussed how to go about implementing the Bay Delta plan.

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

The state council maintains that the movement of water from the valley is necessary during the drought to address water shortages in the delta watershed.

But MID says the state is stealing supplies and the economic impacts would be devastating for local residents.

“We are a severely underprivileged community and the water supply that the Merced Irrigation District holds for the residents of eastern Merced County is possibly the most precious thing we have, and they come for it.” said MID chief executive John Sweigard.

The Merced Irrigation District said Lake Mcler, Yosemite, Don Pedro, New Melones and smaller reservoirs that feed farms and provide groundwater recharge to the county and towns will be affected.

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

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