Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District’s mission is to effectively manage water to the benefit of the Kaweah Basin.
Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District’s vision is to protect, conserve, and maintain the Kaweah Basin’s water resources through actively pursuing a comprehensive understanding of the region’s water resources and through the management of those resources to their fullest potential. The District strives to achieve its vision by engaging in the following core directives:
– Monitoring water resources and demands
– Conserving and enhancing available water resources, both local and regional,
– Investigating and evaluating the Region’s water resources,
– Conserving and protecting Kaweah Basin water rights,
– Preventing the interference with/or diminutions of natural flow, and
– Protecting lands from flood or overflow
– Excellence in Public Service,
– Stewardship of Public Trust,
– Leadership with Ethics and Integrity
– Effective Collaboration with Local, State, and Federal Agencies, and
– Transparency in the Administration of Resources.
The Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District (KDWCD) was formed in 1927, under the provisions of California state law known as the Water Conservation Act of 1927, for the purpose of conserving and storing waters of the Kaweah River and for conserving and protecting the underground waters of the Kaweah Delta. Later the Water Conservation Act, as well as the purpose of the District, was expanded to include power generation and distribution.
The District is located in the south central portion of the San Joaquin Valley and lies in portions of both Tulare and Kings Counties. The total area of the District is about 340,000 acres with approximately 255,000 acres located in the western portion of Tulare County and the balance, or 85,000 acres, in the northeastern portion of the Kings County.
“The Districts lands are primarily agricultural in nature, although the cities of Visalia and Tulare constitute significant areas of urbanization. Farmersville is the other incorporated area. The population of the District is currently estimated to be in excess of 175,000 people with the principle crops now being Milk, Citrus Trees, Deciduous Fruit, Nut Trees and Alfalfa.”
Numerous public and private entities within the District’s boundaries divert water from the Kaweah River and its distributaries. Nearly all of the lands served with Kaweah River water also are served irrigation water from groundwater, primarily due to the erratic and relatively undependable nature of flow on the Kaweah River. All municipal and industrial water uses within the District are supplied from groundwater.
KDWCD and Tulare Irrigation District (TID), which lies entirely within the boundaries of the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, has a long-term contract with the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) for water from the Friant Division of the CVP. TID has historically received substantial quantities of CVP water surplus to the demands of the District which augment the Kaweah River supply.
The District and the Kaweah River groundwater basin have experienced long-term groundwater overdraft estimated in 2016 to be as much as 75,000 acre-feet per year. The District has performed multiple studies of groundwater data to determine the extent and volume of groundwater overdraft within its boundaries. There are currently over 40 recharge basins within the District covering approximately 5,000 acres. While KDWCD owns and operates many of these groundwater recharge basins, it does not provide water banking services for others.