About Us
History, Facilities and Water Use

Tranquillity Irrigation District was formed January 22, 1918, as a public agency designed to serve the local community with water supplies. It is the second oldest such agency in Fresno County. A Board of Directors elected from the community at-large governs the District. The District is approximately 10,750 acres in size and is located in the west central portion of Fresno County in the Great Central Valley of California. The District farmland produces a variety of commodities including: cotton (pima and acala), canning tomatoes, alfalfa for seed, sugar beets and almonds. Its principal community is the unincorporated town of Tranquillity.

The District is geographically adjacent to the Fresno Slough, an historic northern flood outlet of the Kings River. Fresno Slough was also a flooded backwater (swamp) of the San Joaquin River. As a result, the District has historical claims to water from both the Kings and San Joaquin Rivers. However, almost from the very beginning, those claims were constantly disputed amongst other water users. Finally, in the 1950’s the United States Bureau of Reclamation built the Central Valley Project and specifically the Delta-Mendota Canal. By building the Delta-Mendota Canal and spilling water into Mendota Pool, a storage reservoir at the juncture of the Fresno Slough and San Joaquin River, the United States was able to settle the disputes of various diverters around the Mendota Pool. Ultimately, Tranquillity signed a contract with the United States in 1963 that memorialized the solution. Tranquillity received a quantity of “water rights settlement” water and the opportunity to purchase supplemental or “contract” water in order to meet the total needs of the District farm operators. The District then settled with some Kings River water users by establishing an agreement that allows the District’s Kings rights to be used for the most efficient operation of that River. In exchange, the Kings River users have assisted the District with the cost of its “supplemental” water from the United States.

Today, the Delta-Mendota Canal releases water into the Mendota Pool, and some of this supply flows south into the Fresno Slough arm of the storage reservoir. The District then lifts its allocation of CVP water from the Fresno Slough into its own distribution system, which consists of approximately 42 miles of canal, 10 miles of pipelines, two major lift-pump stations, and a series of secondary lifts. The entire system is metered and automated. It is metered on all incoming supplies and every individual farm or user turnout. In addition to surface water, the District operates groundwater wells, which are used as a backup supply during periods of high demand and/or to replace decreased CVP surface water supplies, which since 1992 has been frequent. In 1992, the CVP was required to meet new demands such as environmental requirements for endangered fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The District also maintains the domestic water system for the community as well as the community park.

Further inquiries about the District and its history are encouraged.