District Service Area – The District flood control system is located in the north-central portion of Fresno County between the San Joaquin and Kings rivers. The District is authorized to control storm waters within an urban and rural foothill watershed of approximately 400 square miles, known as the Fresno County Stream Group. The watershed extends eastward into the Sierra Nevada to an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet above sea level. The District service area includes most of the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, and unincorporated lands to the east and northeast.
For the purposes of program planning, structure, service delivery, and financing, a distinction is made between flood control and local drainage services. The flood control program relates to the control, containment, and safe disposal of storm waters that flow onto the valley floor from the eastern streams. The local drainage program relates to the collection and safe disposal of storm water runoff generated within the urban and rural watersheds or “drainage areas.” All are closely integrated and coordinated to provide efficient, comprehensive services. Collectively, these facilities comprise the “Storm Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan.”
Fact sheet – Flood Control Program
An interesting report on the history of water ownership in the Fresno area is available here. ‘Water and the rise of public ownership on the Fresno plain, 1850 to 1978’ is a report written by Todd A. Shallat for the City of Fresno Public Works Department in 1978. The PDF is large (28 MB) and may take a bit to download.