NAMPA & MERIDIAN TO BEGIN FILLING CANALS APRIL 3;
ISSUES WARNING TO PARENTS ABOUT DROWNING DANGER
Nampa--The area’s above average snowpack means water managers with the Treasure Valley’s largest irrigation district anticipate a full irrigation supply of water when they open the headgates of the historic Ridenbaugh Canal near Barber Park at 3 a.m. on April 3 to start water flowing in the canal and officially launch the start of the 2017 irrigation season.
“Mother Nature has been extremely generous with winter snow this year after some pretty lean water years so we are pretty confident that we can provide water users a full supply throughout the irrigation season,” said Greg Curtis, NMID Water Superintendent. In a normal irrigation season NMID delivers irrigation water until the first week of October.
The NMID Water Superintendent also pointedly issued a strong warning about the high drowning risk posed to both adults and children by full irrigation canals.
Once the water is flowing, the District will bring its 80 canals and laterals into service slowly and check for leaks or other problem areas. It will take about two weeks to fill the entire 500-mile system and readied for irrigation water deliveries to its users by about April 17, Curtis added.
Nampa & Meridian crews are finishing up a variety of operation and maintenance projects to prepare for the new irrigation season. The work includes installing concrete lining or converting areas of open canal to underground pipe. The projects can significantly reduce both water loss and system maintenance.
NMID will start April 4 to check pressurized irrigation lines in residential subdivisions where the District operates the system,” Curtis added.
Irrigation canals are deep and flow swiftly with very cold water that can cause hypothermia in a matter of moments. Canal banks are very steep which makes it very hard for people, especially children, to get out should they fall in.
He urged Treasure Valley parents 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 its banks is considered trespassing under Idaho law.
NMID will launch an extensive canal safety public outreach program in May using television and radio safety messages in English and Spanish to warn parents about the dangers canals pose especially to children and young adults.
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 16,000 residential and commercial lots including 410 residential subdivisions. 2017 marks the 113th 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.