FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The Board of Directors for the Fresno Irrigation District voted to extend the 2016 irrigation season through the month of September. The decision that was made last Tuesday will allow the FID to be able to run a full five months throughout the entire district and up to six months in a few areas. Gary Serrato is the general manager, he said some deliveries that were anticipated in July did not happen.
"So with a combination of water savings, the entitlement received from the Kings River, and a late allotment by Bureau of Reclamation. All of the above allows us to go ahead and make deliveries through the end of September."
That water starts off as snow in the Sierra. The runoff from the spring and summer flows into the Kings River. From there it travels through canals heading to farmers as far west as Kerman, south to Easton, and to the cities of Clovis and Fresno-- including the surface water treatment plant in the northeast.
Water deliveries began on April 1st and will continue to September 30th. Serrato said last year's irrigation season was the shortest on record.
"2015 was the driest year on record, and because it was the driest year on record we were only able to deliver, you know, six weeks last year."
Because of the drought, many farmers had to rely on pumping groundwater to grow their crops. Serrato said the extra water this year will allow for an additional irrigation, or a post-harvest irrigation, for some farmers.
"And the benefits of doing that is that we continue to keep the pumps off and we're, if not extracting water from a ground water supply, it allows our ground water to actually recover."
Serrato said this will allow for groundwater tables to go up, and that is a water supply we can use later. He hopes we have another wet winter.