One of Friant’s critical functions is to operate and maintain the Friant-Kern Canal. Built in the 1940s, the canal was operated by the Bureau of Reclamation until October 1986, when a group of Friant Division contractors formed the Friant Water Users Authority to assume operations and maintenance (O&M) of the canal. In 2010, Friant Water Users Authority gave way to Friant Water Authority, and we continue the tradition of three decades of successfully operating the 152-mile-long canal on behalf of Reclamation and its customers.
Responsibilities & coordination
Friant’s Operations division is responsible for the daily water operations on the Friant-Kern Canal and filling of water orders in the Friant service area, and coordinates with Reclamation’s operators at Friant Dam. Staff in this division include canal system operators and technicians who ensure the canal operates properly and makes water deliveries to the Friant contractors who have ordered them.
The Maintenance division includes service yards located in Orange Cove, Lindsay, and Delano. Each group is responsible for maintaining successful functions and physical conditions for a portion of the canal, divided by mile post. Maintenance staff repair and maintain control structures in the canal, bridges crossing the canal, fences and gates, roads, and the canal’s liners and embankments. They also remove aquatic weeds and treat the canal with herbicides to prevent future vegetation growth.