Water shortage to impact farmers and small communities

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The latest storm will bring on pretty flowers. But water district managers hope more storm clouds appear on the horizon. The Fresno Irrigation District supplies water to both cities and farmers. General Manager Gary Serrato worries about east side communities which have been pumping well water in recent years just to serve residents.

Serrato said, "There's going to be some of those smaller communities up there that their pumps may not hold for a third year. When you look at Porterville, east Porterville is already being impacted by their wells. And you've got some small communities like Orange Cove, Terra Bella."

So many wells have gone dry in east Porterville running water has become a luxury. Many people still rely on bottled water. In Orange Cove growing citrus isn't the only major concern.

Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez said, "Growing families. We're going to build 200 new houses but how can we do that with no water so what is the future of our community?"

Serrato says at this point, the Fresno Irrigation District probably won't deliver any water to farmers until June.

"What we have planned now currently is to deliver water to surface water treatment plants and if we get a miracle march and we get more snow then we take a look at doing some groundwater recharge," Serrato explained.

In normal years water deliveries would begin in March. Despite the recent storms we're still headed into a fourth year of drought.
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