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  • Writer's pictureFresno Irrigation

FID receives $5 million USBR grant to develop two groundwater recharge basins

The Fresno Irrigation District (FID) was awarded $5 million from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's (USBR) WaterSMART Drought Resiliency Project Grants for Fiscal Year 2024, the largest grant awarded to the District to date.

The grant was awarded to FID to develop the Hornor and Laub Recharge Basins, and includes the installation of monitoring wells, inlet structures, outlet structures, and flow measurement equipment. Once completed, the two new basins totaling 115 acres will capture and recharge up to 2,350 acre-feet of water annually.

“This grant is a huge win for FID and for our landowners,” stated General Manager Bill Stretch. “We are now that much closer to fulfilling our promise to construct an additional 400 acres of recharge basins to help stabilize the local groundwater table and develop a buffer water supply to rely on during dry years.”

By leveraging the grant together with Proposition 218 assessments, the District is adding much-needed groundwater recharge capacity to its existing 940-acre portfolio. This additional storage means the District will be enabled to capture more surface water when it’s available during wet years for recharge.

The two new basins will boost FID's monthly recharge capacity by about 590 acre-feet, increasing the total amount the District can recharge in a month to approximately 18,590 acre-feet. Investing in these projects is critical to meet Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requirements, drought resilience, improve water quality, and increase water security for domestic well users.

The funding comes on the heels of the $1 million awarded in April for groundwater recharge projects from Congressman Costa’s Community Project Funding Request. The grant program for the $5 million award is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and annual appropriations focused on building new infrastructure and recharging aquifers, among additional priorities to increase water resiliency in the West.


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