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Water Resources

The Districtís flood control and urban drainage design concept is considered one of the finest in the country. It provides water supply and water quality benefits by capturing an average of 90% of all urban runoff. It also allows a cooperative groundwater recharge program done in partnership with other local water agencies. The District’s system has gained an international reputation for innovation and has been visited by engineering tours from China, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and has been inquired about by Thailand.

Water conservation benefits are a design objective of the flood control and urban drainage systems, which detain and retain stormwater runoff for groundwater recharge. The District also partners with the Fresno Irrigation District (FID) and the Cities of Fresno and Clovis, which provide for dry season delivery of imported surface water into many of the District's local stormwater drainage retention basins. When practical the District will irrigate with surface water to preserve higher quality water for residential, commercial or industrial use.

The District is a guiding force in shaping national and state water and flood control policy through active involvement in groups such as:

  • National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA)
  • Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)
  • And through testimony before the Congress of the United States.

The District also engages in water resource planning in our area through participation in defining and implementing planning strategies and by coordinating with local groups and associations:

  • Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Central Valley Water Awareness Committee (CVWAC)
  • Fresno Area Regional Groundwater Management Plan - Plan adopted by ten plan participants, nine agencies and one private water company, in 2006. The Plan takes a regional approach toward groundwater management, while still addressing individual goals and issues of each participant. View the plan.
  • International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) at California State University, Fresno
  • Kings Basin Integrated Regional Water Management Authority - Plan adopted by 17 member agencies, and accepted by the California Department of Water Resources in 2009. Update adopted in October, 2012. Participants also include 37 'interested parties'. Find out more about the group, and view the updated Kings Basin Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.

A little history:

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.