NMID crews lining part of the Ridenbaugh canal near Linder Road. (NMID Photo)
NAMPA & MERIDIAN TO BEGIN FILLING CANALS APRIL 4;
OFFICIALS MONITORING IRRIGATION WATER SUPPLIES
Boise--Water managers with the Treasure Valley’s largest irrigation district will open the headgates of the historic Ridenbaugh Canal near Barber Park at 3 a.m. on April 4 to start water flowing in the canal and officially launch the start of the 2016 irrigation season, the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District announced today.
Based on a forecast for a slightly above average snowpack runoff coupled with the current water levels in the three Boise River reservoirs, NMID water managers say they are very optimistic that there will be enough water to ensure a full irrigation season supply. The District delivers water until the first week of October in a normal irrigation season.
“Once the water is flowing, we will begin to bring our 80 canals and laterals into service slowly and check for leaks or any problem areas. It will take two full weeks to get the entire 500 miles of the system filled and make ready for irrigation water deliveries to our users by approximately April 15. We will also start on April 4 checking pressurized irrigation lines in residential subdivisions where we operate the system,” said Greg Curtis, NMID Water Superintendent.
Curtis pointedly reiterated the dangers of full irrigation canals. Canal water coming from the river is very cold and can cause hypothermia in a matter of moments. Canal banks are very steep making it very hard to get out of if someone falls in. He called on Treasure Valley parents to take the time to make their children understand that they are not to play around any irrigation canal. NMID canals are private property, so playing in a canal or along their banks is considered trespassing under Idaho law.
Nampa & Meridian crews are finishing up a massive maintenance and improvement series of projects while water has been out of the canals.
NMID poured more than 1,400 cubic yards of concrete to line 2,050 feet of canal banks on three different canals. Lining canals can reduce water loss due to seepage by up to 95 percent. They also installed 1,500 feet of new reinforced concrete pipe in a pair of major laterals.
Crews also installed three new large check structures in the canal system and did extensive bank renovations in several areas of the Ridenbaugh Canal.
NMID crews also completed more than 90 different repairs, ditch cleaning and other maintenance project. Especially noteworthy is that developers and landowners supplied more than $200,000 in materials while NMID crews preformed the labor. This is a huge benefit to the patrons of the district because the result is a system that will require less maintenance and help conserve water, Curtis noted.
NMID delivers irrigation water to approximately 69,000 acres of Treasure Valley agricultural and residential lands in Ada and Canyon Counties including pressurized irrigation for more than 15,000 residential and commercial lots including 379 residential subdivisions. 2015 marks the 112th consecutive year of water deliveries to the Treasure Valley by the irrigation district.
For more information about the District call 466-7861. Information is also available on its Internet website: www.nmid.org.