Berenda Reservoir is an equalization reservoir located four miles east of Chowchilla on Avenue 26. It situated on six land acres owned by the Chowchilla Water District and provides surface irrigation water for local farmers. It is part of the Chowchilla Water District distribution network that receives seasonal water released from both the Friant Dam and the Buchanan Dam at a schedule determined by the Federal and State agencies. The network consists of 150 miles of unlined canals and 49 miles of pipeline. There are over 950 turnouts where irrigation water is delivered to water users.
The City of Chowchilla has an agreement with the Chowchilla Water District through which the City may open the reservoir for public use and maintain it during the summer season when water is in the basin. Public use of the Berenda Reservoir is determined by the availability of water that is subject to seasonal releases into the irrigation network. Access to the facility is prohibited when the reservoir is not filled with water.
There is no charge to enter the Berenda Reservoir when it is open to the public. There is no public rental of the reservoir grounds or any of the facility amenities. At the present time boating is prohibited on the water and the boat launch is closed.
Rules & Regulations Enforcement
Per agreements with Madera County and the Chowchilla Water District, the Chowchilla Police Department has enforcement jurisdiction for Berenda Reservoir. All accidents are to be reported to the Chowchilla Police Department at (559) 665-8600, or 911 in case of an emergency.
Until further notice boats, personal watercraft (jet skis) and similar items are prohibited on the water of the Berenda Reservoir. The boat launch is closed.
Grounds Use Regulations
- The reservoir grounds and water opens no earlier than 8:00 AM. and closes no later than dusk, approximately 1/2-hour before sunset.
- Swimming is permitted in designated areas only.
- Firearms are prohibited inside of the reservoir grounds.
- Speed limit for vehicles inside the park gate is 15 miles per hour.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- The possession of glass containers is prohibited.
- No animals are allowed in park during a special event; the City leash law pertains to all other open hours of operation.
- Open fires are prohibited.
- Overnight camping is prohibited.
- All vehicle codes and state laws apply.