The Modesto and Turlock Irrigation District Boards took steps to file the final applications for the Don Pedro and La Grange projects with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The boards authorized their general managers to file the Amended Final License Application and the Final License Application for the projects. The districts have been working with the public and various agencies to identify how the projects would impact environmental resources.
More than 35 resource studies, approved by FERC, were conducted. The studies were used to create the Tuolumne River Management Plan, which describes operations and resource protection measures.
“The management plan submitted by the districts is a balanced, sustainable and achievable proposal developed using the best site-specific science along the Tuolumne River,” said Joe Alamo, president of the Turlock Irrigation District Board. “These studies and models demonstrate that when put into action together, the measures the districts are proposing achieve the plan’s goals.”
The previous 50-year license to operate the Don Pedro Project expired in April of last year. Renewal of the license is contingent on FERC reviewing and approving the final applications.
Among the studies’ proposed measures to improve and protect the irrigation districts are:
- Instream flows and flow management
- Habitat improvements
- Fish populations
“During the Worth Your Fight campaign, we told everyone how the state board’s flow-centric proposal would devastate our communities, and that a comprehensive proposal based on science was needed to benefit the fishery and secure our water supplies,” said Nick Blom, Modesto Irrigation Board president. “The Tuolumne River Management Plan is that proposal.”
Highlights of the Tuolumne River Management Plan can be viewed online at tuolumnerivermanagementplan.com.