The James Irrigation District was formed in 1920. The District encompasses about 26,418 acres (41.3 square miles) of primarily agricultural land in central Fresno County, including the City of San Joaquin. The District generally extends from the James Main Canal and Fresno Slough Bypass on the east, to the Fresno Slough on the west and a line approximating Nebraska Avenue on the south. The District shares a common boundary with the Tranquillity Irrigation District on its western side.
Major crops grown in the District include almonds, pistachios, grapes, onions, tomatoes, alfalfa, and cotton. Land is irrigated with the District using a variety of methods including drip, drip tape, sprinkler, micro sprinkler, and flood irrigation.
The District obtains water from multiple sources. These sources include the Delta-Mendota Canal, the Kings River, the San Joaquin River, and groundwater extracted through District-owned wells.
The District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors elected by division. The General Manager administers the District. It has 15 full-time employees.