Turlock Lake

Davis Reservoir, later renamed Owens Reservoir and now called Turlock Lake was constructed in 1913 with a maximum storage capacity of 50,000 acre feet. Turlock Lake served as the District’s main storage reservoir until completion of the original Don Pedro Dam and Reservoir in 1923.

Today, Turlock Lake serves as a balancing reservoir storing water until it’s released into the canal system to satisfy irrigation demands. Turlock Lake also gives the District the flexibility to operate the Don Pedro Project independently from the irrigation system, maximizing the Don Pedro’s value to customers.

TID also operates a small hydro-generation facility at the outlet to Turlock Lake which, during the irrigation season produces clean, carbon free power. This facility factors into the District’s commitment to comply with California’s mandate that 50 percent of our power generation come from renewable sources. Small hydro facilities such as Turlock Lake Power Plant are considered renewable sources while large hydro-generation facilities such as Don Pedro are not classified by the state as renewable.

While TID owns and operates Turlock Lake for irrigation purposes, all public access and recreation at the Turlock Lake Recreation Area is under operation by the State and their concessionaries, who determined they would close the park as of May 14, 2021. The State is seeking out interested concessionaires to operate the park, but there is no timeline for reopening at this time.