Consolidated Irrigation to begin water deliveries

Consolidated Irrigation District will begin making water deliveries through its Lone Tree Channel system on April 2.

District General Manager Phil Desatoff said about 8,000 acres in the Sanger, Del Rey, Parlier, Selma and Fowler areas are entitled to receive water from what is also called the Church system, based on historic water rights granted in the 1870s by pioneer Kings River irrigation leader Moses J. Church.

Church canals will be filled beginning Monday.

Deliveries of Church water differ from Consolidated's basic water entitlements. Because of this year's just-below-average Kings River runoff prospects and the fact that the spring snowmelt within the Kings River watershed has not begun, the district's board of directors has not yet made a decision on when it will begin deliveries of water through Consolidated's much larger primary canal system or how long it will last.

Desatoff said a decision is likely to be made at April's board meeting.

For only the third time in the area's irrigation history, Consolidated was unable to operate its main canal system with water deliveries during drought conditions in 2007. But Desatoff said the district should have a good water run this spring and summer.