DISTRICT HISTORY AND ELECTRIC BACKGROUND
The South San Joaquin Irrigation District: Helping Our Region for over 100 Years
The South San Joaquin Irrigation District was formed in 1909 to provide reliable and economical irrigation water for South San Joaquin County – a mission it continues to this day.
In the past 103 years, SSJID has made significant investments and improvements to bring agricultural water to the region. Water conservation efforts by District growers and SSJID have allowed SSJID to share its water resources with local cities, providing them clean drinking water while preserving our top-quality agricultural water system and maintaining some of the lowest water charges in California. Today, SSJID water irrigates about 55,000 acres of prime agricultural land, fueling the economic engine that drives our region.
In the mid-1950s, SSJID formed the Tri-Dam System with the Oakdale Irrigation District and began producing hydroelectric power through a series of dams, reservoirs and powerhouses on the middle fork of the Stanislaus River. The Tri-Dam Project has been reliably generating and marketing wholesale electricity since 1957. The sale of that electricity helped pay for the entire system, and Tri-Dam currently generates nearly $10 million in excess revenue a year for SSJID.
(For more information on the Tri-Dam Project, please go to www.tridamproject.com.)
Nick C. DeGroot Water Treatment Plant
In 2005, SSJID opened the Nick C. DeGroot Water Treatment Plant at Woodward Reservoir to provide clean drinking water to Manteca, Escalon, Lathrop and Tracy. The plant is powered by a state-on-the-art solar farm, which saves the District more than $400,000 in electricity costs a year.
The California Water Code allows irrigation districts to provide three major utility services to the communities they serve: irrigation water, domestic water and power. With revenue from the Tri-Dam Project available to offset startup costs, SSJID is now working to enter the retail electric market and supply electricity to the homes, schools and businesses in Manteca, Escalon and Ripon at rates 15% below PG&E’s.
Construction of the 1.4 megawatt Robert O. Schulz Solar Farm is complete. The solar farm provides power for the district’s water treatment plant that serves Manteca, Tracy, Lathrop and Escalon, saving more than $400,000 in annual power costs.