Monday, September 23, 2013

Just in


The Pioneer Irrigation District Board of Directors announced today that all irrigation deliveries will end on October 1, 2013.

The end of water deliveries marks the closing of a difficult 2013 irrigation season. Despite the limited water supply the Districts season lasted almost a month longer than anticipated. Pioneer would like to thank its Patron’s for its conservation efforts. With constant monitoring and tweaking of diversion flows by the District manager, Pioneer was able to keep water flowing. 

            “We are all glad the season is lasting longer than we first thought. We knew that 2013 was going to be a tough year with the low snow pack. I stand by the early decision by the Board to try to reduce deliveries and lengthen the irrigation season. I am glad Pioneer patrons focused on conserving water during this difficult season and am pleased with the District’s staff in their constant efforts to save water, ” noted Alan Newbill, President of the Pioneer Board of Directors.

            Last year Pioneer ended water deliveries on October 5.

Boise River water will continue to flow into Pioneer’s division for a couple of additional days before it is closed.  That allows water flows to flush any debris from the District’s hundreds of miles of canals, laterals and drains before they dry up, according to Mark Zirschky, Pioneer’s water superintendent.

It will take several days after the headgates are closed before water is out of the canals.  Shortly after that, Pioneer crews will launch their annual winter maintenance program. Pioneer officials are encouraging anyone who has plants, trees, sheds, pumps, etc., encroaching on a canal easement to remove those items. If not removed, state law authorizes Pioneer maintenance crews to do so.  Anyone with questions regarding maintenance plans or activities are asked to call the Pioneer office at 459-3617. 

            Pioneer also routinely burns weeds along canal banks as a part of its annual weed control activities. An increasing problem that the District has encountered is property owners who allow weeds to grow very tall around their private fences and close to the easements.  That creates a situation in which flames from routine weed burning can jump to those overgrown patches and create a fire hazard.  

            The District does not spray or mow up to the edges of fences and property lines because of liability issues.  The only remedy is for property owners to correctly maintain weeds on their property.

Zirschky said Pioneer typically needs at least 25 feet of clear passage way from the edge of a canal or ditch to ensure room for maintenance equipment and other vehicles.  However, easement requirements can vary by location, so questions about easement widths should be directed to Pioneer’s office.  In addition to trees and brush, the District also sometimes encounters situations in which fences and even sheds have been built on the canal maintenance easement and must be removed.

For more information about the end of water delivery, Pioneer’s maintenance operations or easements, contact the District at 459-3617.  There is also information available on Pioneer’s website at:

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