Fresno Irrigation District will delay water deliveries

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Photo of the canal in the Fresno Irrigation District.

published on March 14, 2022 – 13:28
Written by Edward Smith

The continued period of dry weather has delayed water deliveries to eastern farmers. The Fresno Irrigation District announced Monday that it will not send water to contractors in March or April due to dry winter weather conditions.

Bill Stretch, general manager of the irrigation district, said they should have enough for two months of water deliveries, but he hopes it will last three months. With only two months of water, Stretch said most growers prefer June or July deliveries.

Due to the shortened water season, Stretch predicts a “significant” reliance on groundwater. But replenishment efforts by producers in the district have brought fairly high, good-quality water levels, Stretch said.

Heavy storms in October and December brought Kings River’s snowpack to 62% of the April 1 average, according to Stretch.

“While better than 2021, this is the third consecutive extremely dry year. There are no significant weather events in the long-range forecast to indicate a drastic change in water supply conditions,” said Stretch.

The Fresno Irrigation District comprises 250,000 acres of agricultural and municipal land.

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