Power, Water and Prosperity
In 1909, the South San Joaquin Irrigation District was established to provide a reliable and economical source of irrigation water and flood control for the agricultural areas in and around Escalon, Ripon and Manteca. The formation of the district did more than just bring needed water to convert 70,000 acres into productive farmland. It literally gave life to Manteca, Ripon and Escalon. A strong vision of thriving, productive agricultural and residential communities drove us to become one of the most progressive water districts in California. Over 100 years later, our investment in the future of our community has paid off with unparalleled water and energy resources for those who make South San Joaquin County home.
Prior to SSJID, Manteca had only three or four homes and only winter crops could be grown. That all changed after May 11, 1909 when voters by a 396 to 67 margin embraced the formation of SSJID, as well as a $1,875,000 bond issue. The district’s forefathers, along with Oakdale Irrigation District, had the wisdom and foresight to develop the Tri-Dam Project, a system of reservoirs, dams and powerhouses that would ensure the financial success of SSJID for many years to come. Currently Tri-Dam produces nearly 135 megawatts yearly, and along with generation sold from additional SSJID hydropower facilities, brings SSJID its share of annual income of approximately $9 to $15 million per year. The entire system was financed without aid from either the state or federal governments.
Since then, we have expanded into providing domestic water service to South San Joaquin County and installed a productive solar farm, along with a pressurized water delivery system in Division 9, and are presently moving towards providing retail electric service as well.