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Canals will begin filling soon in preparation for deliveries.

Todd Fitchette, Associate Editor

March 19, 2024

1 Min Read
Kings River
Fresno Irrigation District directors opened the start of irrigation season with deliveries set to begin April 1. Much of the district’s water comes from the Kings River watershed, which this year is tracking at about 68% of its April 1 average. Water availability north of there in the San Joaquin River watershed is doing slightly better.Todd Fitchette

Farmers in California’s Fresno Irrigation District can schedule surface irrigation deliveries beginning April 1. Canals will begin filling soon in preparation for the deliveries.

District directors approved the move as almond bloom is over, and pistachio pollination is scheduled to soon begin. Deliveries are expected into July, according to FID General Manager Bill Stretch.

“We wanted to make this decision as early as possible to help our agricultural users make informed decisions,” Stretch said in a prepared statement.

Much of the district’s water comes from the Kings River watershed, which this year is running behind last year’s record-setting season. Carry-over water in Pine Flat Reservoir aided this year’s delivery estimates.

Unlike last year, where heavy snow packed the southern Sierra with ample water for irrigators throughout the summer, this year’s storms have tracked farther north, according to Ryan Jacobsen, FID board chairman. Nevertheless, he said the district appears to be in good shape for this season.

A smaller portion of district water comes from the San Joaquin River via the federal Central Valley Project. An initial allocation of irrigation deliveries from the Bureau of Reclamation was set at 60% for Friant District Class 1 contractors, with no Class 2 allocation set at this time.

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About the Author(s)

Todd Fitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.

Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

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