Water deliveries are plentiful for Valley farmers thanks to a healthy snowmelt

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Water deliveries in the Fresno Irrigation District typically end in September, but they could last until November this year.

The extra deliveries will allow growers to not only irrigate but also to bank some water for future use.

The sound of water rushing through canals and ditches is music to the ears of Valley farmers. Fresno farmer David Sarabian explained, "Just the fact that this water is running over this dirt environment, we're getting percolation or recharge."

Sarabian just finished harvesting his peaches. Almonds and pistachios are next while the Zinfandel wine grapes are close to being picked as well. Irrigation deliveries will last through at least October for farmers in the Fresno Irrigation District.

"It's gonna be helpful. The longer we go, the better. Keep putting water into the ground," Sarabian said. "The trees will take what they want and the rest we hope will go down to the aquifer and help our water table for next year."

FID general manager Bill Stretch said some farmers would soon flood their orchards or fields with the extra water deliveries so they can pump it back up in the future.

"We're building up that groundwater bank so in those dry years the growers, the cities, they have a reliable groundwater supply they can count on," Stretch said.

The need for irrigation dips a bit during harvest, but more water will soon be needed on the farm.

"Post-irrigation is extraordinarily important to a crop's development not only for finishing off this year's plant but also preparing for next year's crop," said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO, Ryan Jacobsen.

Farmers need to contact their ditch tenders to schedule deliveries within the Fresno Irrigation District.

Growers aren't the only people who benefit from the FID supply, residents in Fresno and Clovis use 30% of the water.
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