Dry Winter Conditions Prompt Postponing FID’s Water Deliveries
Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2022
Delaying the decision will yield a more accurate runoff forecast
The on-going dry winter weather conditions, with record dry January and February months and a much below-average Sierra Nevada snowpack, led the Fresno Irrigation District (FID) to postpone the start of its 2022 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 or April agricultural deliveries and will not make an official decision on the start of this year’s water deliveries until early-April.
“With a couple strong storms last October and December, and a record dry January and February, the Kings River snowpack conditions currently stand around 62 percent of the April 1 average,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. “While better than 2021, this is the third straight extremely dry year in a row. There are no significant weather events in the long-term forecast to indicate a drastic change in water supply conditions.”
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 62 percent of normal. If late winter and spring conditions remain dry, Kings River runoff could be significantly less than that projected by DWR. FID’s Kings River entitlement depends upon each day’s natural river runoff. On February 23, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial Central Valley Project Friant Division water supply allocation of 15 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.