Dry Winter Conditions Prompt Postponing FID’s Water Deliveries
Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2020
Delaying the decision will yield a more accurate runoff forecast
The on-going dry winter weather conditions and a much below-average Sierra Nevada snowpack led the Fresno Irrigation District to postpone the start of its 2020 water deliveries.
FID’s Board of Directors, after reviewing the latest runoff forecasts, decided to conserve the
District’s available water supply by not offering any March agricultural deliveries and will not
make a decision on the start of this year’s water deliveries until at least mid-March.
“Future weather holds the key to how our water supply will turn out for the season, and, so far,
this winter we have had very little rain and snow in the mountains,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. A few recent storms have, at best, produced only light amounts of mountain precipitation that have made no impact to the snowpack, which is FID’s main water supply, he noted.
The dry outlook was reinforced by the California Department of Water Resources’ updated April through July runoff forecast. Assuming average amounts of precipitation fall during the remainder of the season, DWR predicts the Kings River’s runoff will be nearly 58 percent of normal. If late winter and spring conditions remain dry, Kings River runoff could approach critically-low runoff totals. FID’s Kings River entitlement depends upon each day’s natural river runoff. While the Bureau of Reclamation has not made an official allocation on the Friant system, FID is anticipating allocations of 25 to 40 percent for Class I and 0 percent for Class II contracts.
Since 1920, the Fresno Irrigation District has proudly delivered water to agricultural and urban
communities within Fresno County. Today, the District encompasses over 250,000 acres of
prime farmland and municipal areas, including the cities of Fresno and Clovis. As the premier
irrigation district in the Central Valley, the District is extensively involved in a host of local,
state and federal water issues.