The Madera Irrigation District
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The Madera Irrigation District (MID or District) encompasses an area of approximately 139,757 acres. MID operates a primarily gravity irrigation distribution system with approximately 300 miles of open flow canal systems as well as 150 miles of large diameter pipelines.
The District has a Central Valley Project (CVP) repayment contract with United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) providing up to 85,000 acre feet (AF) of Class 1 and 186,000 AF of Class 2 water per year from the Friant Division (Millerton Lake). The CVP water is released from Millerton Lake through the Friant Dam, and then conveyed through the Madera Canal for delivery into the District’s service area. The District also entered into a CVP repayment contract with the USBR for the yield from the Hidden Unit (Hensley Lake). Under the Hidden Unit contract, the average annual supply available to the District is approximately 24,000 AF per year.
The District has Pre-1914 rights to divert water from Big Creek (Big Creek Diversion) and the North Fork of Willow Creek (Soquel Diversion). The Big Creek Diversion originates in Big Creek, a tributary of the Merced River. This Diversion is located just upstream of Fish Camp, CA, where the water is redirected to flow down Lewis Creek, a tributary of the upper Fresno River. The Soquel Diversion originates in North Fork Willow Creek, a tributary of the San Joaquin River. This Diversion is located approximately 9 miles upstream of Bass Lake, where water can be redirected to flow through the Soquel Ditch to Nelder Creek, a tributary of the upper Fresno River. Alternatively, water can be left in North Fork Willow Creek, and allowed to flow to Bass Lake and eventually to the San Joaquin River, where it can be diverted in Friant Dam. MID also has a Pre-1914 water right on the Fresno River.
The District is a public agency, established by the State Legislature as a Special Act District. It is governed by a five member Board of Directors who are elected at large but who must reside within the division they serve. The statutory authority under which an irrigation district operates is known as the California Water Code. A large segment of the City of Madera (City) is included within the District. Each resident of the City, who is registered to vote, has an opportunity to vote for the Director of his or her choice and may opt to run for the directorship.