Intense storm activity in December and January has provided the Fresno Irrigation District with an opportunity to begin to immediately offer water to growers for on-farm recharge to help improve local groundwater conditions. Following three years of extreme drought conditions, the storms have filled reservoirs and allowed FID to route storm and flood waters into its boundary to replenish the underlying groundwater supply and help improve local groundwater levels which have steadily declined since 2019.
As the storms continue, water has to be released from Pine Flat and Millerton Lake fill, resulting in the availability of storm and flood water that FID will continue to be diverting and routing through its system. FID is delivering as much water as possible to its recharge basins, but there is additional water that can be diverted into the District if growers are able to use it.
“With favorable water conditions, FID is implementing an on-farm recharge program offering free flood waters to growers who desire to divert some amount of water onto their farms to help improve local groundwater levels,” said Bill Stretch, FID General Manager.
While there is no charge to growers who wish to take storm and flood waters for on-farm recharge, deliveries are limited to the portions of the FID delivery system currently being utilized to route storm and flood waters, with additional systems anticipated to come online in late February. Please contact FID’s Watermaster, David Burrow, at (559) 233-7161 if you have interest in the possibility of receiving water for on-farm recharge opportunities.
“In light of the requirements of the State’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s requirements to improve local groundwater levels, FID is making every effort to route storm and flood waters into its boundary and utilize facilities, including individual farms, for recharge purposes,” Stretch said.