Local reservoirs prepare for more rain

FRESNO, Calif.

A year ago at this time Pine Flat Reservoir was filled to 36% of capacity. On Friday we saw water being released from Pine Flat, which is 55% full.

The threatening skies are expected to bring more snow and rain. A great deal of carryover water from a wet year is already being stored at Pine Flat Reservoir.

Randy McFarland of the Kings River Water Association said, "That means the flood operators with rain flood season coming on have to keep close tabs on our reservoirs and they know there may be a need for some flood releases even if we don't get significant storms."

The sight of Pine Flat releasing 1700 cubic feet per second was impressive. The whitewater created a strong flow down the Kings River fishermen say stirs up the trout.

Water's being released to meet the high demand for irrigation this fall. The Consolidated Irrigation District has been able to take advantage of the carryover water by filling up groundwater recharge basins like Rockwell Pond in Selma.

McFarland explained, "That water goes into the ground and a lot of people will be able to use it not only for irrigation but also for house wells and communities such as Selma, Kingsburg, Fowler, Parlier."

All eyes are on the cloudy skies but it's much too early to tell if we're headed for an above average year.

McFarland said we have to wait until the end of January or mid-February to get a better handle on the water outlook.

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