Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Irrigation News

New York Canal, Boise, originally uploaded by Jake Putnam
Canal Companies Recharging Canals, Aquifer with Surplus
Idaho Falls--With heavy rains across Idaho this week, water masters are taking advantage of the runoff and putting water back in the ground.

Almost all Idaho reservoirs are full, so now water masters are looking to recharge the aquifer as much as they can by running water in canals and arterials they can, most of the water is still used on crops but a significant amount is seeping back to the aquifer.

"None of this is normal. See all this recharge has just happened recently. Because of the severe drought we've been in for about ten years," said Luis Thiel, Idaho Falls water manager.

Water master say there's more water than above -ground storage can handle can handle this year, so the best use is recharging the aquifer.

According to Local 8 News in Idaho Falls, canal managers said they pumped 50 cubic feet of water a second into the aquifer, which is enough to fill the bed of a pick-up truck every second."

"After seven days we had some emergency maintenance to do so we had to shut back off our canal and discontinue the recharge. And at that point we had recharged approximately 8- hundred acre feet into the aquifer," said Chairmen of the Idaho Irrigation Commission, Allen Kelsch.

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