Irrigation in the Delano and Earlimart regions began in the late 1800's with artesian wells, but by the 1930's diminished groundwater supplies threatened the area's continued economic viability. By 1947 the mean depth to groundwater was dangerously low. The Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District (District) was formed in 1938, and signed its original water service contract for water delivery from the Friant Unit of the Central Valley Project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) in 1951, after the average depth of groundwater had fallen every year since 1905. Since it's inception, the District has provided consistent and reliable surface water to its constituents, resulting in dramatic improvements to groundwater conditions.
The District services over 400 landowners on 56,500 acres of land in southern Tulare and northern Kern counties. Water is distributed through a completely piped system, allowing for virtually no losses and providing and extremely efficient water delivery project that is the foundation for the District's overall water conservation and management program. Not only the District but the growers have adopted conservation and efficient practices through drip irrigation and sprinkler systems.