Fresno Irrigation District: No regular farm water deliveries this year

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For the first time ever, farmers in the Fresno Irrigation District will not receive any surface water deliveries. (KFSN)

Watch the video for extended coverage from Action News anchor Dale Yurong
Hopeful Valley growers dealing with the drought can't seem to catch a break. Those who farm in the Fresno Irrigation District will get a historic zero water allocation this year.

Many dry canals will remain that way in FID. For the first time ever they won't deliver any surface water from Pine Flat Dam to Valley farms. General manager Gary Serrato said the FID board had no choice.

Serrato explained, "We're facing not just the driest year on record but we've actually shattered the driest year on record that we can remember which was 76-77."

Cherry season was wrapping up on Mitch Sangha's farm. But he was counting on at least a month's supply of FID water to grow his almonds and grape this season.

Sangha said, "One month - that would have really helped but hearing that we're not going to get any, I'm kind of, we're going to have to figure out how to get through July."

FID will use this year's water supply to recharge ponding basins and replenish underground aquifers to supply more groundwater for irrigation. The move was expected to benefit many of the district's 6500 farmers like Sangha.

Sangha said, "I'm hoping it will. I'm hoping they put enough water. Hopefully a month's worth of water in the ponds and we'll build back up."

Serrato said the district was looking at an all-time low of 15-16% of the average snowpack runoff. 23% was the previous low. Recent storms haven't had an impact.

Serrato said, "Unfortunately the snow that we received is actually going right back into the ground because the ground is so dry."

Some growers though on the Valley's east side will receive "hardship" water because they have very limited access to groundwater.

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businessdroughtwatercalifornia wateragriculturefresno countyag watchFresno County
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