Canal Company Implements Conservation Techniques
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Later this month the Twin Falls Canal Company will be reducing the amount of water farmers can use.
It's the first time they've had to implement the restrictions in half a decade.
"The winter snow pack over the winter in the upper Snake River ended up being just 70% of normal,” said Jay Barlogi, Twin Falls Canal Company.
In spite of that lower than normal snow pack, the natural flow of the Snake River was running fine until July 1st.
"As the snow melt dropped off, so did the natural flow component of the river and by July 4th the Twin Falls Canal Company was using storage at a very high rate,” said Barlogi.
It was then that the canal company decided it was going to have to reduce the amount of water being used.
But, they wanted to wait until farmers finished irrigating their barley and wheat crops.
"On July 16th the Twin Falls Canal Company will be reducing diversions from ¾ of an inch per share to 5/8ths of an inch per share for the remainder of the irrigation season,” said Barlogi
What this means in a nutshell, is farmers will have less water to irrigate their crops with.
"At their head gates they'll receive 1/6 less water now than they did at the ¾ of an inch delivery rate,” said Barlogi
This is the first time in five years the canal company has been forced to implement these restrictions.
"We spent the entire 2007 irrigation season with 5/8 of an inch delivery rate,” said Barlogi
Despite the reduction, there was little to no impact on the crops.
Just a lot of extra work for the farmers.
"It does require water users to work harder, spend more time setting their water and then obviously stretching it out as well as they can," said Barlogi.
The canal company says it was able to make it through the year with ease because they had adequate storage volumes.
But, another dry winter this year would mean a different story next summer.