Turlock Irrigation District, Turlock, CA — Griffith & Masuda has been outside General Counsel to the Turlock Irrigation District since the 1930’s. Founded in 1887, TID is the oldest irrigation district in California. TID is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors. TID diverts some 550,000 acre feet of water per year from the lower Tuolumne River pursuant to pre-1914 and post-1914 water rights for use within its 308 square mile irrigation service area. TID also operates a small domestic water system. TID is also a vertically integrated electric utility with hydroelectric, natural gas, wind, solar, coal, geothermal, and fuel cell generation resources, transmission, and retail distribution to nearly 100,000 electric customers within a 662-square mile service area, primarily within the Stanislaus and Merced Counties. TID is its own electric Balancing Authority. TID’s 2011 annual peak demand was 491 megawatts. TID is the 68.46% owner and project manager of the Don Pedro Project (FERC Project No. 2299). Don Pedro Reservoir, with a maximum storage capacity of 2,030,000 acre-feet, is the sixth largest reservoir in the State of California and the largest reservoir in the State not owned by the Federal or State government. TID also owns and /or operates nine small hydroelectric power plants.
Don Pedro Recreation Agency — Don Pedro Reservoir, with a maximum capacity of 2,030,000 acre-feet, is the sixth largest reservoir in the State of California. The reservoir recreation area has two marinas operated by a concessionaire and three recreation areas and 550 campsites managed by the Don Pedro Recreation Agency, a department of the Turlock Irrigation District. Management oversight is provided by the Board of Control consisting of representatives from Turlock Irrigation District, Modesto Irrigation District, and the City and County of San Francisco—the three agencies responsible for DPRA’s costs. Sara Lima is the attorney for the DPRA and the Board of Control.
Joint Powers Agencies — Griffith & Masuda is also General Counsel to the Walnut Energy Center Authority, the Tuolumne Wind Project Authority, and the Westside Power Authority, joint powers agencies of which TID is a principal member.
Walnut Energy Center Authority (“WECA”) — The WECA is a joint powers agency formed in 2003 by TID and the Merced Irrigation District for the purpose of developing, financing, and operating the Walnut Energy Center, which a 250 MW natural gas-fired, combustion-turbine based, combined-cycle generating plant. The plant went into commercial operation in February 2006. In 2011, the plant generated 1,117 GWh. The firm is WECA’s General Counsel.
Tuolumne Wind Project Authority (“TWPA”) — The TWPA is a joint powers agency formed in 2008 by TID and the WECA for the purpose of acquiring, financing, and operating a wind farm comprised of 62 wind turbines with a 136.6 MW nameplate capacity located in Klickitat County, Washington. The project achieved commercial operation in May 2009. The firm is the TWPA’s General Counsel.
Westside Power Authority (“WPA”) — The WPA is a joint powers agency formed in August 2000, by TID and the Patterson Irrigation District. Today the WPA functions as a joint planning agency on power and water issues. The firm is WPA’s General Counsel.
County of Butte, Oroville, CA — Butte County has extensive groundwater resources and Lake Oroville, the second largest reservoir in the State of California, is located entirely within the county. The County is a State Water Project (SWP) contractor. The firm has been special water counsel to Butte County since March 1991. The firm advises the County on its SWP contract, litigation relating to the SWP contract, the County’s SWP wholesale water contracts, water transfers of excess SWP water, the County’s groundwater ordinances, and the California Department of Water Resources’ relicensing of FERC Project No. 2100, the Oroville Facilities. Under a 1996 voter-approved initiative, Butte County regulates groundwater substitute pumping water transfers and the export of groundwater from the county. From 2000 to 2005, Roger Masuda served as Butte County’s Relicensing Coordinator for the relicensing by the California Department of Water Resources of the Oroville Facilities (FERC Project No. 2100) pursuant to FERC’s Alternative Licensing Procedures.
Merquin County Water District, Stevinson, CA MCWD a county water district, serves irrigation water to approximately 6,000 acres of farmland in Merced County. The District also owns and operates some twenty-one groundwater wells to supplement its surface water supplies. The firm has been MCWD’s General Counsel since October 1988.
Western Hills Water District, Patterson, CA — Western Hills Water District, a California water district, was formed as the water-sewer-storm drainage service provider for the golf resort development known as Diablo Grande in the hills approximately 8 miles east of Interstate 5 and the City of Patterson within Stanislaus County. The District operates a water treatment plant and supplies drinking water for the residential development and untreated water for the golf courses. The District is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors. During 2010, Mr. Masuda successfully negotiated a long-term unbalanced water banking program agreement between WHWD and Belridge Water Storage District, Berrenda Mesa WD, Dudley Ridge WD, Lost Hills WD, and Wheeler Ridge-Maricopa Water Storage District whereby WHWD is able to transfer State Water Project contract water in excess of its annual in-district needs to the five districts and in exchange receive cash payments and groundwater storage credits. The firm has been the District’s General Counsel since December 2008.
North San Joaquin Water Conservation District, Lodi, CA — The North San Joaquin Water Conservation District serves irrigation water in the Lodi area. It has a water rights permit for up to 20,000 acre-feet of water from the Mokelumne River. The District is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors. In September 2011 the District was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation for the Tracy Lake Groundwater Recharge Project. This project will divert water from the Mokelumne River into South Tracy Lake and is projected to divert up to 4,000 acre-feet per year when river water is available. The surface water will be used by the landowners to irrigate crops on up to 1,310 acres of land thereby conserving groundwater. The project will also result in surface water recharge to the over-drafted groundwater basin. Based upon the firm’s recommendation, the District’s $636,000 non-Federal share of the project is being financed through the formation of the District’s first improvement district and the issuance and sale of improvement district warrants. Our firm became the District’s General Counsel in July 2011.
Utica Power Authority, Angels Camp, CA — UPA is a joint powers authority consisting of the City of Angels Camp (home of Mark Twain’s jumping frog) and the Union Public Utilities District, Murphys. UPA is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors. UPA owns pre-1914 and riparian water rights and is the licensee to FERC Projects Nos. 2019 (Utica Hydroelectric Project) and 2699 (Angels Hydroelectric Project). Mr. Masuda serves as Special Water Counsel to UPA since March 2008. He assisted UPA in successfully negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement signed in November 2009 with the Calaveras County Water District. The agreement resolved long-standing water rights disputes between the parties.
Turlock Mosquito Abatement District, Turlock, CA — The Turlock Mosquito Abatement District was formed in 1946. Today the District controls mosquitoes within a 966 square mile area. The District’s eight-member Board of Trustees consists of five members appointed by the cities of Turlock, Hughson, Ceres, Patterson, and Newman, and three members representing the unincorporated areas of Stanislaus County within the District’s service area. The firm has been TMAD’s attorney since 2006.