FID’s Drought-Shortened Water Deliveries Will Begin June 1
Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022
Uncertainty remains for extending deliveries past July 31
This year’s severe drought conditions will result in the Fresno Irrigation District postponing its start date for 2022 agricultural water deliveries to June 1. FID’s Board of Directors made the decision at its April 6 meeting, determining there was enough data available to commit irrigation supplies for the two months of June and July.
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 (March 28) for the Kings River is estimated to be between 31 and 50 percent of average, which continues to be downgraded with each forecast update due to warm and dry conditions.
“We wanted to make this decision as early as possible to help our agricultural users make informed decisions during this significantly dry year,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. “It is extremely unfortunate that this is the third dry year in a row, with last year being 23% of average and the third driest year on record for the Kings River. Snow conditions today are tracking closely with conditions this same time last year, but FID in entering April with more water stored in Pine Flat Reservoir.”
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 15% 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.