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Tag: Oakdale Irrigation District Fallowing Program

Trinitas Partners Hires OID Water Attorney: Conflict?

In a move very likely to revive local controversies and bitter memories, Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) water attorney Tim O’Laughlin has been hired by Trinitas Partners to manage its huge Hawaiian farming operation in Maui, where it’s known as “Mahi Pono.” Now an entity with too many names and subsidiaries to list, Trinitas/Mahi Pono recently […]

Another Huge Loss for Oakdale Irrigation District

For any other public entity, the loss suffered on November 27 by Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) in Fresno’s Fifth Appellate District Court would amount to a wake-up call, but given the resistance to facts of three of its board members, General Manager and water attorney, it’s unlikely any of them will come away with a […]

Oakdale Irrigation District: “The public be damned”

“Petitioner has bestowed an important public benefit,” says Judge. Imagine tossing 2130 hundred dollar bills into the Stanislaus River to see how long they will float. Sounds crazy, but the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) did something almost as foolish when it decided to contest a suit brought forward by the Oakdale Groundwater Alliance (OGA).  The […]

Judge Calls Water District’s Bluff: “It is not even close.”

At one point during the conflict between the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) and the Oakdale Groundwater Alliance (OGA), Judge Roger Beauchesne scolded OID attorneys for their use of ad hominem tactics, reminding them that personal attacks are usually attempts to hide weak arguments. But it turns out personal attacks were all OID attorneys could offer […]

More Legal Woes for the Irrigation District

For more than ten years, the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) has relied on water sales to balance its books. Over the decade prior to 2014, OID water sales brought in well over thirty million dollars.  The bonanza enabled the district to sell water to its customers for well under the cost of delivery. When OID […]

Irrigation District Monetizes Public Water

By a 3 to 2 margin, the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) Board of Directors voted in the third week of March to sell surplus public water outside the boundaries of the district. At the time, nearby urban residents were still under a state order to reduce water use by 36 percent below 2013 usage. Ironically, […]

Can CEQA Save Tulloch Lake?

In 2011, we posted a review of some of the most successful applications of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in the northern San Joaquin Valley. These cases show that CEQA can be an effective planning tool in our region. Unfortunately, because CEQA almost always involves an understanding of environmental law, attorneys’ fees have too […]

OID CEQA Review Will Change the Water Game

Last year, the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) pumped a near-record amount of groundwater. Nonetheless, OID General Manager Steve Knell and members of the Board of Directors continue to talk about selling “surplus water.” By way of planning for continuing drought conditions, that same Board of Directors last Tuesday considered draining Tulloch Lake, where waterfront homes, […]

Oakdale Water Scheme Hits CEQA Hurdle: Part I

Only a few days ago, it seemed as if the Oakdale Irrigation District’s (OID) “On Farm Conservation Funding Program” was likely to be instituted as early as this year. Though it features a controversial fallowing element, criticism of the program has been muted by a well-orchestrated publicity campaign conducted through press releases produced by former […]

Fire Sale on Water?

Despite little interest thus far in a fallowing program designed to make water available for sales next year, Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) will pursue plans to sell water to Westlands Water District. Though OID General Manager Steve Knell has been under increasing pressure to keep OID water local, his Board of Directors continues to back […]