FID Water Deliveries to Begin March 1
Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2023
The Fresno Irrigation District (FID) Board of Directors made the decision at their regularly scheduled meeting on February 9 to begin water deliveries to agricultural customers on March 1. While some canals already have water as part of the concluded on-farm recharge program, FID will begin filling canals and basins mid-February 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 at least into the month of August. 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 February 1 state-wide snow survey indicated that the snow water content in the Kings River watershed was 242 percent of average for that date, which corresponds to approximately 148 percent of the April 1 average. The San Joaquin River watershed snow water content is slightly less than that of the Kings River watershed.
Currently, the Kings River watershed is projected to have a snowmelt runoff (April through July) that is approximately 168 percent of average, assuming 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).
“We wanted to make this decision as early as possible to help our agricultural users plan out this year’s irrigation practices,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager. “We are blessed to finally end the driest three-year period on record and be able to offer a long water season to our growers, as well as make significant contributions to groundwater recharge.”
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 not yet announced initial allocations for CVP Friant Class 1 or Class 2 contract supplies.
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.