Irrigation districts take advantage of excess water, start deliveries to farmers

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A spectacular snowpack and a series of storms in the San Joaquin Valley are bringing smiles to valley farmers' faces.

On Friday, the Fresno Irrigation District started moving water to farms in the cities of Fresno, Clovis, and their surrounding ag land.

"It allows farmers to take surface deliveries and put the water on crops but back into the ground level," said FID board president Ryan Jacobsen.

While this isn't an early start compared to typical years, the water is especially welcome after several drought years.

Jacobsen says this year has been so wet some farmers aren't even taking the deliveries yet.

"Its been very wet but that can change quickly so we encourage our farmers, particularly where there are dormant vines, to take that water," he said.

Water on dormant land may not be for plant growth but it still serves as a recharge for the groundwater basin.

"Think of the groundwater basins as a bank you put deposits in, years like this when it's wet. You're going to use that groundwater basin when it comes to very dry years like those four years of drought," Jacobsen said.

The Fresno Irrigation District runs water to users through 700 miles of canals and pipes.

It's still too early to tell how long the irrigation season will last, but the FID is hoping to extend deliveries into September.
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