The Kings River water year is ending, with Pine Flat at 148,000 acre-feet of storage out of an available 1 million acre-feet. July and August saw a decrease in storage behind the dam as water supply made its way to residents, farms and communities in the area, a welcome alternative to pumping groundwater during historically dry times.
Kings River runoff nearly doubled this year, jumping from 23% to 45% of average, compared to the 2021 water year. The water supply availability allowed North Kings GSA member agency, Fresno Irrigation District (FID), to complete three full months of irrigation runs from June through August. FID and the North Kings GSA encouraged growers to take surface water while available to help reduce groundwater pumping.
The North Kings GSA Board anticipates the three-month irrigation season, originally only projected to be two months of deliveries, will help offset the amount of groundwater being pumped throughout the area.
Thanks to monsoon weather in early August, next year’s water supply already has a boost. While the unusual rains came too late in the season to offer a fourth month of water delivery from FID, the District is committed to making it count during next year’s delivery.
The extra water added approximately 30,000 acre-feet of precipitation runoff into Pine Flat Reservoir — a benefit to both growers and FID who both strive to rely on surface water when available rather than groundwater.