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SSJID strengthens its positive financial position to $303M
Water deliveries may be cut back to 34 percent of normal throughout the South County this year if current conditions hold. - photo by Bulletin file photo

South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s share of Tri-Dam Project wholesale electricirty sales continues to keep the agency’s irrigation rates among the lowest in California.

An audit report being reviewed Tuesday when the SSJID board meets at 9 a.m. at the district office, 11011 East Highway 120, shows the SSJID’s share of Tri-Dam power sales accounted for 78 percent of is $20.2 million net income it received in 2020 from non-operating revenue that includes property tax and interest.

 The district received $11.8 million in operating revenues in 2020 from irrigation sales, treated water sales, and other expenses. That was against $33,027,533 in overall operating expenses including labor, other operating and maintenance costs, general and administrative expenses and depreciation. That created a net operating loss of $21,159,998 that included $7.5 million in depreciation.

By the time $3.8 million in capital contributions is factored in, the SSJID’s net change in its financial position improved $2,998,222 in 2020 to $303,013,546 at the end of 2020. That represents a $3 million rise over 2019.

The district at the end of 2020 was sitting on $89.9 million in assets and other investments.

It includes $16.2 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, $64.2 million of investments in unrestricted marketable securities, $275,000 in unrestricted accrued interest, $6.8 million in restricted cash and cash equivalents, $3 million in restricted marketable securities, and $42 million in Tri-Dam investments.

The Tri-Dam Project — a series of reservoirs and hydro-electric plants built in the 1950s on the Stanislaus River in partnership with the Oakdale Irrigation District — is the foundation of the district’s strong position. Wholesale electricity sales paid off the $55 million debt incurred in the mid-1950s build Donnells, Beardsley and Tulloch. The enhanced revenue after bonds were paid off a decade ago has made the SSJID well-positioned — according to independent analysis by firms that have done similar work for PG&E — to be able to enter the retail power business and deliver power at cists 15 percent below what PG&E is now charging.

The district’s efforts to acquire the POF&E system within its jurisdiction as allowed under state law is still tied up in the courts.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email