A CENTURY OF CONVEYANCE,
COMMITMENT & CUSTOMER SERVICE
FID Grows Fast:
At the time of FID’s founding, there were three key issues that needed to be resolved that factored into the formation of the
Fresno Irrigation District. They were:
1. Unsettled water rights on the Kings River.
2. Monopolistic management and practices by the original canal companies.
3. Great interest in developing water storage projects, in particular Pine Flat Dam.
In 1919, a petition was circulated by 788 landowners to form the Fresno Irrigation District (FID). On June 15, 1920, voters overwhelming approved the District’s formation with more than 88% of the vote (1,290/ 1,438),. County supervisors certified the election on June 28, 1920, and FID’s first board meeting took place on June 29, 1920. Elected as the District’s original directors were M.F. Tarpey, E.J. Bullard, W.A. Groves, Herbert E. Vogel and P.B. Thornton (all pictured). Tarpey was the first board President. FID spanned 242,000 acres at birth. The new District’s assessed valuation of property was $18,171,665.
By July 1920, FID had acquired the Fresno Canal and Land Corporation (as the old canal company had been renamed), including 260 miles of canals at a price tag of $1.75 million. Nearly all of these canals are in existence today - built to last! FID grew quickly between 1920 and 1930, with its water user base doubling in size to 9,000 customers. The system expanded to 530 miles of canals and ditches within just a few years.
Michael F. Tarpey 1920-1925
Herbert E. Vogel 1920-1925
FID’s Original Board: Where it all began
FRESNO IRRIGATION DISTRICT
FID was commended by the State Engineer’s office for the ‘reconditioning of a system that was unfit for satisfactory service but a short time ago’. The District took advantage of federal and state job creation programs during the Great Depression to improve infrastructure.
W.A. Groves 1920-1937
Recorded minutes from the 1st FID meeting of the Board of Directors
Philip B. Thornton
Kings River Water Rights
In 1927, FID became a charter member and signed the Kings River Agreement; this voluntary agreement included monthly water entitlement schedules based upon prior agreements, court decisions, and Fresno’s role as a senior appropriator. FID was the largest of the 19 agencies that signed this agreement. It established the alliance known as the Kings River Water Association (KRWA). FID remains as a member of the KRWA today as one of the 28 member agencies responsible for surface water allocations and fighting to protect attacks on Kings River water rights.