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History of CCID

1931-1950 Central Valley Water Project & Evolving Water Rights

In 1933, the United States Department of Interior negotiated with the heirs of Miller & Lux for the acquisition of riparian rights from the area now known as the Grassland Water District. As part of the Central Valley Project (CVP), the government proposed to construct and operate a dam above Shasta on the Sacramento River, for later storage in the Mendota Pool via the Delta-Mendota Canal. At the same time, they negotiated for an exchange of water rights between the CVP and Miller & Lux's water rights on the San Joaquin River. Water acquired from these new rights would be impounded behind what is now Friant Dam, where it would be redistributed along the east side of the valley through the Friant Kern Canal.

Negotiating a water exchange agreement between the Miller heirs and the federal government was a critical piece of the Central Valley Project; an agreement was reached in 1939. This accord, "The Exchange Contract," remains the backbone of Central California Irrigation District's water supply to this day.