Alta Irrigation District

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Maintenance Activity Update

The purpose of this message is to highlight new activities by District crews and to update you on the status of ditch plow efforts.  See attachment for photos of current activities.  As I have mentioned in previous messages, today’s activities are the product of planning efforts from 2017/18 and consistent with the reoperation theme implemented during the 2017 irrigation season, which yielded the longest water run in half a century. 

About two weeks ago, the District resurrected a large scraper blade in order to test its effectiveness on cleaning O&M roads of medium sized ditches.  This plow was tested on Wilson (along Roads 80 and 88), Button (along Ave 384), and it is currently being tested on Monsoon 2 (along Ave 400).  Once the weeds are removed and weather conditions are right, the District will make these areas a priority for its revamped spray program.

At this time, the ditch plow is on standby while the District’s equipment operator is working on reshaping areas that could not be reached with the plow.  Once all earthen plugs are removed and those inaccessible reaches are reshaped, the District will resume plow activity in the Cutler-Orosi area – the greatest concentration of plowable ditches are located south of Avenue 416 and east of Road 80. 

Lastly, annual assessment invoices were mailed last week and pre-paid water surcharge notices are scheduled to mailed this Friday.

Click the link below to see more maintenance activity

Maintenance Activity UpdateMaintenance Activity Update



AID Ditches Getting Facelifts

2020 maint

Click the link below to see more maintenance activity:

AID Maintenance Article

Examples of Maintenance Activity from 2018-20

2018 2019 AID Maintenance Activities Click the link below to see more maintenance activity

Examples of Maintenance Activity from 2018-20


System Reoperations During Wet Years Helped Alta Irrigation District Navigate Recent Dry Year

Dinuba, CA – Kings River runoff during the just-concluding water year may have been limited by deepening drought conditions to just over half of average but new operating procedures, implemented in 2017 allowed Alta Irrigation District to deliver more water when compared to operations during previous wet years, helped lessen impacts during this dry year.

Dinuba-based Alta, which serves eastern Fresno County, northern Tulare County (east and south of the Kings River) and a slice of western Kings County, was able to divert about 87,000 acre-feet of water during the summer season.

“Below average water years are not unique to the District and our history is pockmarked with single year and multi-year below average runoff events but this dry year demonstrates the importance of reoperations during wet years,” said the District’s General Manager, Chad Wegley.

The 2019-20 water year concluded September 30 and the Kings River’s full natural flow (as if there were no dams) is expected to be just 53% of average, according to the Kings River Water Association.

Looking back through the past decade’s many drought years, Wegley noted that the 2013-15 water years included the driest single- and three-year periods on record (see table below).

Summary of Water Run Operations During Driest Three-Year Period

Water Year

Volume Diverted from Kings River

Duration of Water Run


0 acre-feet

0 days


25,800 acre-feet

27 days


35,700 acre-feet

33 days

“That dry period is a stark reminder why improved operations implemented during wet years such as 2017 and 2019 were so important to water management in this area,” said Wegley.

In 2017, Alta set a record for its longest water run, 216 days, in half a century, for a total diversion of nearly 250,000 acre-feet. Not to be outdone, the District then diverted about 275,000 acre-feet in 2019 from the Kings River– fifth largest diversion since completion of Pine Flat Dam in 1954 and the second longest water run in half a century at 206 days. While Alta’s General Manager Chad Wegley only has four years at the helm, his vision brought record setting water runs and headgate diversions in half of those years.

“Collectively, reoperation of facilities has allowed the District to divert about an additional 100,000 acre-feet above previous operations for similar water years,” Wegley said. “That is equal to 10% of Pine Flat Reservoir’s capacity.”

Public Hearing

Alta Irrigation District will hold a Public Hearing on September 29, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. regarding the adoption of 2020 Water Charges and Assessments.   To participate in the Public Hearing call (559) 823-8500 at 1:00 p.m. on September 29, 2020.