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Facts About the District

District Facts at a Glance

Size: 132,000 acres of prime agricultural land

Location: Southeasterly portion of the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County California

Amount Irrigated: Approximately 100,000 acres are developed to irrigated crops, with vineyards, truck crops, potatoes, cotton, citrus, and orchards

Rainfall: Long-term average rainfall in the District is about 8.2 inches per year Therefore, agriculture is almost entirely dependent upon irrigation. The absence of perennial surface streams in the District required that all irrigation water, prior to 1966, be obtained from groundwater reserves.

Historical Groundwater Overdraft:  In the early 1960s, Groundwater overdraft prior to the introduction of Central Valley Project water was estimated to be 200,000 acre-feet per year, until pumping lifts exceeded 600 feet in many areas of the District. Further, the receding water table in certain areas had induced the subsurface movement of water with high boron concentrations from the bedrock complex bordering the District to the east into the pumped aquifers underlying the area.

Key Facilities

  • 45-mile canal system: The primary facility of the project is a 45-mile canal system, which, from the terminus of the Friant-Kern Canal, through the increasingly urbanized area of Southwest Bakersfield and through the District. This canal has a capacity in its initial 30 miles of 1,000 cubic feet per second, which rate of flow is required to accommodate maximum water deliveries as provided in the District's Federal water service contract.
  • Forrest Frick Pumping Plant aerial fisheye viewForrest Frick Pumping Plant. Located about three miles to the west of the District's westerly boundary and about 14 miles ‘from the terminus of the Friant-Kern Canal. This plant has a capacity of 27,500 horsepower, consisting of four pumping units rated at 5,500 horsepower each, two 2,000 horsepower units, and two smaller units rated at 1,000 and 500 horsepower. The plant discharges water into a three-mile long, eleven-foot diameter pipeline, which is constructed of pre-stressed reinforced
  • Pressure Pipelines. There are about 170 miles of pressure pipeline varying in diameter from 6 to 60 inches,
  • Booster Pumps. There are 45 booster pumping plants having a total approximately 25,000 horsepower, and 510 farm turnouts.
  • Spreading Works – There are 3 spreading facilities totaling 1,500 acres.
  • Well Fields. The District owns and operates 83 wells spread throughout the Basin and three are under construction.