About Alta ID

Alta Irrigation District is located on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley, in Tulare, Fresno and a small portion of Kings Counties. The towns of Dinuba and Reedley are within the district’s boundaries. The district’s surface water supply is from the Kings River, with irrigation releases from Pine Flat Dam.

The 76 Land and Water Company was formed on June 7, 1882 with $280,000 in capital stock divided into 14 shares. The company took its name from Tulare State senator and cattleman Thomas Fowler’s “76 Ranch” which had significant land holdings in the area. In March 1884, the company moved its headquarters from its original location in Visalia to the newly formed town of Traver. The original intent was to develop a water supply and canal network to divert water from the Kings River to serve lands owned by the company near Traver.

The district boundaries encompass approximately 129,000 acres, with 111,000 cropped acres. The district operates 250 miles of open canals and 75 miles of pipelines.

Alta Irrigation District supplies water to users on a modified arranged schedule and charges for water on a volumetric basis. Surface water users that flood irrigate can irrigate once every 15 days or so; according to the ditchtender’s schedule. Growers using drip/microspray have more flexibility in their water ordering (they can take smaller flow rates more frequently). Water users place water orders by calling ditchtenders’ cell phones directly. Water users can operate their own turnouts.

Volumetric measurements at farm turnouts are made by using a modified constant head orifice for flow rate measurement and recording the time the turnout is on and off. The District charges a per acre charge to cover all non-water run costs.

The district has 10 ditchtenders and 3 water dividers. The water dividers monitor flows throughout the district as well as reservoir elevations and spills. They tell ditchtenders what flows are available early in the morning.

Groundwater recharge is a major function of the district. The district prevents spill as much as possible by using terminal reservoirs at the ends of laterals where water is allowed to percolate. Recharge basins are located within the district for groundwater recharge as well.

History

The 76 Land and Water Company was formed on June 7, 1882 with $280,000 in capital stock divided into 14 shares. The company took its name from Tulare State senator and cattleman Thomas Fowler’s “76 Ranch” which had significant land holdings in the area. In March 1884, the company moved its headquarters from its original location in Visalia to the newly formed town of Traver. The original intent was to develop a water supply and canal network to divert water from the Kings River to serve lands owned by the company near Traver.

Due to the numerous landholdings, rising importance of water and the passage of legislation that allowed for public irrigation districts (Wright Act), 19 landowners posted a petitioner’s bond of $1,000 in U.S. gold coin to initiate an election process to form a public irrigation district. The community held an election August 14, 1888 and voted 326 to 19 to form the second public irrigation district in California. It was named “Alta”, which in Spanish means high or highest due to the fact that Alta’s diversion location on the Kings River is the highest diversion point and first diversion point on the river.

On December 4, 1888, the directors voted 3 to 2 to move the irrigation district office from Traver to Dinuba. The directors also authorized a bond election to improve and expand the canal and delivery infrastructure of the newly formed district. By 1909 the district was serving nearly 80,000 acres of farmland.

Currently, Alta Irrigation District is the only irrigation district formed under the Wright Act with 7 directors and comprises of 130,000 acres. Irrigation district law provides for 3 or 5 directors. Alta carried specific legislation in 1996 to enable Alta Irrigation District to add two directors for the two incorporated cities within its district, Dinuba and Reedley. All director divisions have equal populations that are reviewed and adjusted with each decennial census. The primary function of the district is to deliver surface water to agricultural parcels and administer its groundwater management program under AB 3030.

Our Mission Statement

To protect Alta Irrigation District’s surface water rights and groundwater authority, easements and facilities along with utilizing all available water resources for the betterment of the District.

Adopted May 16th, 2007

District Staff

District Office:

(559) 591-0800

Chad Wegley
General Manager

Marc Limas
Operations Manager

Jordan McCullough
Superintendent
559-805-7524

Steve Crittenden
Supervisor II/Water Master
559-406-3232

Indira J. Treviño
Accountant / Tax Collector

Penny Durham
Administrative Analyst

Employment Opportunities

Alta Irrigation District is an equal opportunity employer. The District performs background checks, pre-employment physicals and drug screening.

Accepting applications for Seasonal Maintenance I/Ditchtenders

Download Application
Include your contact information, work history, education, etc. Be sure to complete the entire application.

Or you can apply in person. Pick up an application at 289 N. L Street, Dinuba, CA 93618. Office is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed at noon.