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History of Patterson Irrigation District

District Map


  • 1844 - 13,340 acre Rancho Del Puerto was granted to Mariano and Pedro Hernandez by Governor M. Micheltorina.
  • 1855 - Rancho Del Puerto was confirmed by Land Comissioners
  • 1857 - Rancho Del Puerto was confirmed by U.S. District Court
  • 1864 - President Abraham Lincoln issued the patent to S.G. Reed and R.S. Wade
  • 1866 – John D. Patterson purchased the Rancho
  • 1902 - John D. Patterson passed away and transfered the properties he held to his heirs, Thomsas W. Patterson and William W. Patterson
  • 1908 - The land was sold to the Patterson Ranch Company for the sum of $540,000 cash gold coin. Thomas W. Patterson purchased the land from stockholders and started the Patterson Ranch company in 1908.
  • 1909 - February 9, 1909 the Patterson Ranch Company posted for a water right along the San Joaquin River for fifteen thousand inches measured under a four-inch pressure, equivalent to 400 cfs
  • 1910 – The Patterson Water Company was formed to handle the irrigation of the lands and develop the irrigation system. The Water Company secured senior water rights on the San Joaquin River and would go on to develop what was touted as the world’s first successful lift irrigation system.  
  • 1955 – The Board of Supervisors of the County of Stanislaus, on a petition signed by Lester K. Gustafson and others for the formation of a water district under the “California Water District Law”, Statutes of 1951, Chapter 390, approved the formation of Patterson Water District.  
  • 1998-1999 – The District successfully reorganized to become Patterson Irrigation District (PID), acquiring the immunities, powers and protections to continue to provide irrigation services and obtained authority to provide electrical power.
  • 2000-2003 – In an effort to introduce public power to the Westside, PID joined with Turlock Irrigation District and formed the Westside Power Authority (“WPA”). The WPA’s efforts resulted in signing agreements with PG&E for purchase of the electrical system covering a large portion of Western Stanislaus County. In late 2003, PID stepped aside and allowed TID to take over the WPA positions in all agreements with PG&E.  In December of 2003 TID became the retail energy provider for a majority of Western Stanislaus County including the PID service area, the City of Patterson and the Diablo Grande development.
  • 2011 – PID completed construction of a $14M Fish Screen and Pumping Plant, replacing its older diversion.  Upon completion, the project became the largest flat-plate, positive barrier, fish screen on the San Joaquin River system.

History of PID Power Point PID History Presentation