FID’s Drought-Shortened Water Deliveries Will Begin June 1
Updated: May 5, 2021
Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2021
Uncertainty remains for extending deliveries past June 30
This year’s severe drought conditions will result in the Fresno Irrigation District postponing its start date for 2021 agricultural water deliveries to June 1. FID’s Board of Directors made the decision at its April 8 meeting, determining there was enough data available to commit irrigation supplies for the full month of June. July water deliveries remain uncertain and will depend on future hydrology, precipitation, and weather. A decision on July water deliveries is anticipated to occur at FID’s May Board meeting.
FID continues to track updates from the Airborne Snow Observatories (ASO) models, National Weather Service and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). DWR’s most recent Bulletin 120 runoff projection for the Kings River is 33 percent of average, which was downgraded from its March 23 projection of 40 percent of average.
“We wanted to make this decision as early as possible to help our agricultural users make informed decisions during this historic dry year,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. “It is extremely unfortunate that this is the second dry year in a row, with last year being 54% of average. To date, the Kings River has experienced the second lowest October through March runoff period on record since the 1890s.”
FID’s Kings River entitlement depends upon each day’s natural river runoff. While FID receives most of its surface water supplies from the Kings River, FID also receives San Joaquin River supplies via the Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project. The Bureau announced on February 23 a 20% Class 1 allocation and 0% Class 2 allocation. Like the Kings River watershed, the San Joaquin River watershed is also experiencing severely dry conditions.
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.