California's Bay Delta Water Grab

  Drought conditions would occur much more frequently at Lake McClure as a result of the Bay Delta SED.

The latest news on the Bay Delta Plan SED

In August this year, the State Water Board delayed adoption of the Bay Delta Plan SED. The plan will divert up to 50 percent of the water flowing into Lake McClure, sending it north to the San Francisco Bay Delta for the purported benefit of salmon.

As the State Water Board neared adoption of the plan on August 22, the final action was delayed at the request of the State Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. The Secretary requested that alternative plans and compromises be considered. The State Water Board continued with its hearings allowing testimony on the proposal while delaying a final vote. MID has long advocated the Merced River S.A.F.E. Plan as an alternative compromise to the Bay Delta Plan SED.

To watch MID General Manager John Sweigard’s testimony at the August 22 hearing, please click here.


For years, the State Water Resources Control Board has been proposing to divert water from our community and send it to the San Francisco Bay Delta. This would have a direct and harmful impact on:

  • Local groundwater used by cities and agriculture alike
  • The local environment
  • The region’s economy
  • Future development and land values

In July the State Water Board released its most recent – and apparently final version – of its Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update, or Bay Delta SED. Members of our community and MID have both provided hundreds of comments and scientific input in recent years. Merced Irrigation District has advocated the Merced River S.A.F.E. Plan as an alternative: it would have provided increased flows at reasonable times, improved habitat, hatchery improvements and more. MID had attempted to negotiate with the State and various stakeholders but was forced to abandon negotiations when it became clear the only interest was diverting 40 percent of the water flowing into Lake McClure.

The State Water Board has remained unmoved and is intending to proceed with its plans to divert up to half of the water flowing into Lake McClure away from our community.

MID adamantly condemns the plan and considers it to be a completely irresponsible water grab, one that will place undue harm on our already significantly disadvantaged communities in eastern Merced County.

The State Water Board intends to adopt its latest version of the Bay Delta SED toward in August. Additional information about the public hearings for this plan will continue to be provided.

Important links:


Lake McClure -- 2015


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