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Front Page » February 6, 2007 » Local News » One step closer: Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation signs co...
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One step closer: Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation signs contract

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Lee McElprang and Sherrel Ward sign the contract between the United States Bureau of Reclamation, Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation Company and the Emery Water Conservancy District for the running of non-project water through Huntington North Reservoir.

Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation Company has signed a contract with the Bureau of Reclamation to enable them to run non-project water through the Huntington North Reservoir. This may not sound like a big deal but for the parties involved it is a giant step forward for the $60 million salinity reduction irrigation project the irrigation company has been involved with for the last several years. Construction of this project began last spring and years of planning and work on financing went into the project prior to its start.

The HCIC appreciated the BOR representatives for coming down for the contract signing and working to get this step taken for the $60 million project. Stock watering was also approved. The notice of the contract was advertised and NEPA was completed and an Environmental Analysis was also completed. The design drawings are done and the decision document is being signed by the parties involved including the Dam Safety in Denver.

The contract also states that HCIC will be allowed to use the reservoir without a charge. The BOR is waiving the fee due to the large investment that HCIC is making and the benefits it will have for the government. This fee waiver is contingent on the HCIC completing the irrigation project. Another precaution taken by the Bureau of Reclamation was to ask for proof of a $6 million loan for the HCIC should their current money run out so the BOR could be guaranteed the project will be completed. The Division of Water Rights has stepped up to the plate to say they will work with HCIC to guarantee the required loan. The BOR said that $6 million loan is unique to this case to ensure the project will be finished.

The salt will not reach the river and will result in benefits for everyone. The contract is for 40 years. The salinity project completion date is scheduled for 2011. The contract will be be reviewed after 40 years.

The Huntington North reservoir is a federal facility that contracts with the Emery Water Conservancy District for its operation.

With the contract signing HCIC will be able to move ahead with the installation of the pipeline leading from the Huntington North Reservoir. The design drawings will show what work needs to be done to modify the outlet works to accommodate the new pipeline.

Huntington North Reservoir will be the pass through for the Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation company salinity project.

HCIC has in the past run Class B water from Joe's Valley which is federal water and will continue to do that. The open canal used in the past will be converted to pipeline. This will conserve water in the winter months with stock watering.

HCIC expects the work to begin at Huntington North in February. JUB Engineering is the engineering company for the HCIC salinity project. They will negotiate a contract with Nielson Construction. This will be a separate contract from what was signed last spring. This contract will be specific to the work at Huntington North Reservoir.

In order for Huntington North to accommodate the non-project water and the pressurized irrigation system, the inlet and outlet works of the reservoir must be modified and a separate spillway must be constructed to replace the lost evacuation capacity due to modifying the outlet works.

The irrigation year runs from March 1 through Oct. 31 of each year. The Huntington North Reservoir was constructed and came into operation in the year 1965. Non-project water in this case is irrigation and stock water not appropriated by the United States and coming from Huntington Creek.

The amount of non-project water to be introduced into project facilities by HCIC will not exceed 14,074 acre feet in a calendar year for the term of the 40 year contract. Stock watering will be allowed year round. Huntington North will not be used to store non-project water. It will only act as a regulating mechanism to release the water into the new irrigation system. Non-project irrigation water that is introduced into the reservoir which raises the water level above elevation 5838 shall be released over the spillway.

The lengthy and extensive contract was signed by the Bureau of Reclamation, Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation Company Officers and the Emery Water Conservancy to make the partnership official and to allow HCIC to begin the work on the project at Huntington North. Work continues on the pressurized irrigation system in the Cleveland area and this contract signing is just one more step in a long process to save water and reduce the salt reaching the Colorado River.

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February 6, 2007
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