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  • Writer's pictureFresno Irrigation

FID Water Deliveries to Begin April 1

NEWS RELEASE

Bill Stretch, General Manager

(559) 233-7161

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 15, 2024



The Fresno Irrigation District (FID) Board of Directors made the decision at their regular meeting on March 14 to begin scheduled water deliveries to agricultural customers on April 1. FID will begin filling the canals late-March in preparation for a successful delivery season.


It is too early to tell how long the irrigation season will last, but FID projects enough water supplies to extend irrigation deliveries to at least July. FID will have a better estimate on the length of the irrigation season by late spring and will provide updates to users as soon as they are available.


The March 1 state-wide snow survey indicated that the snow water content in the Kings River watershed was 68 percent of the April 1 average. The San Joaquin River watershed snow water content is slightly more than the Kings River watershed.


Currently, the Kings River watershed is projected to have a snowmelt runoff (April through July) that is approximately 75 percent of average, assuming slightly less than average precipitation through the remainder of winter and spring. FID continues to track updates from the Airborne Snow Observatories (ASO) models, National Weather Service and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).


Pine Flat Reservoir on the Kings River, the source of the majority of FID's water supply, is already at 76% of capacity due to significant stored water being carried over from the prior record-setting 2023 water year. An early April 1 irrigation season start will help protect FID from spilling and losing stored water resulting from the upcoming spring snowmelt.


"After an extremely dry start to winter, February storms added much needed snowpack to the Kings River watershed," said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. "We wanted to make this decision as early as possible to help our agricultural users make informed decisions."


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 has announced a 60% initial allocation for CVP Friant Class 1 contractors and no Class 2 allocation at this time.


FID urges agricultural customers to contact their Water System Operators (WSO) for all water delivery scheduling questions and concerns. Questions may also be directed to the District office by phone at (559) 233-7161.


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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.

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