Canal System Shutdown
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Due to drought planning the Roza Irrigation District will shut down its canal system at 7 a.m. Monday to conserve water for later this year. District manager of the Roza Irrigation Board Scott Revell explains.
REVELL: We got an updated water forecast from the Bureau of Reclamation. On April 20 they had projected a 54% water supply; they revised that downwards to 47%. They also showed a low forecast, low range, what they thought the bottom of the range was was 38%. So, we immediately changed all of our water planning to match the low forecast. The board of directors voted to shut the system down on May 11.
The system is expected to be off for roughly two weeks.
REVELL: The board is going to meet on May 22 to determine how long the shutdown will last. Prior shutdowns were 21 to 23 days; it takes about five days to get everything up and running.
Some area growers are asking the board to shorten the shutdown.
REVELL: Cherry growers in particular who didn’t want the system shutdown because you know they’re in a real critical time here in the next two weeks because everything is about two weeks ahead. People will be picking cherries here you know later in the month, so it’s a pretty drastic measure when we’re having to shut the canal down in May.
The Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District board recently voted to allow Roza to lease water from SVID landowners, something that has been done in prior droughts. Roza is offering $500 per acre to lease water. Growers interested in applying can do so at SVID until May 18. Roza will also make applications and program guidelines available on its website.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.