Bill Stretch, General Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2021
July Deliveries Remain Uncertain
As this year’s severe drought conditions continue to worsen, the Fresno Irrigation District (FID) is still set to begin its 2021 irrigation water deliveries on June 1. However, FID’s Board of Directors did not act at their May 13 meeting on water deliveries for July; the board determined there was not enough data available to make an announcement. FID is monitoring hydrology, precipitation and weather over the next few weeks to better analyze their available supply. A decision on the July water deliveries will occur at FID’s June 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 May 10 Bulletin 120 runoff projection for the Kings River was reduced to 27% of average, which was downgraded from the April 27 projection of 29% of average. Further, runoff projections using ASO models are significantly lower compared to those produced by DWR and the National Weather Service.
“While we were able to help our agricultural users by making a decision in April to have a June 1 start date, there are still too many uncertainties and too many discrepancies between water supply models to be able to make a sound decision for July at this time,” said Bill Stretch, FID general manager. “To date, the Kings River has experienced the fifth lowest October through April 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. Similar to the Kings River watershed, the San Joaquin River watershed is also experiencing severely dry conditions.
FID staff continues to ready the system for deliveries to ensure a smooth irrigation season. Water will begin to fill canals in the coming weeks.
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.