Irrigation district delays delivery announcement

The Fresno Irrigation District announced it will delay announcing a start date for water deliveries because of the meager Sierra snowpack.

A decision is delayed until early March, according to a statement by Gary Serrato, FID general manager.

"We still have several weeks to go in which we could experience storm activity, but no storms are on the horizon now and the Kings River watershed snowpack water content is only about 27 percent of what it should be when snow conditions usually peak on April 1," Serrato said.

Last year, deliveries began March 1.

Serrato said FID isn't overly concerned because it was able to carry over some supply of Kings River water from last year in Pine Flat Reservoir, "...and that will be a big help in meeting our users' water supply needs this spring and summer," Serrato said.

In normal water years, FID delivers about 500,000 acre-feet of water, mostly to agricultural users. It also has contracts with the city of Fresno to purchase up to 135,000 acre-feet from the Friant Division of the Central Valley Project. 

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, Friant water users can expect only 35 percent of Class 1 deliveries this year.