Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation receives stimulus money; makes plans for Millers Flat
An estimated $2.9 million in stimulus money will flow to Emery County in the next year. In June 1974, Congress enacted the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with a program to enhance and protect the quality of water available in the Colorado River for use in the United States and Republic of Mexico. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide municipal and industrial water to about 27 million people and irrigation water to nearly 4 million acres of land in the United States. The threat of salinity is a major concern. Salinity affects agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users.
Huntington Cleveland Irrigation Company has received a grant to proceed with a project which will result in a reduction of salt into the Colorado River. The proposed project will construct: 5.1 miles of pipeline; three pressure reducing stations and two connections to existing regulating ponds. The proposed structures and pipeline will replace 9.1 miles of earthen canals and eliminate winter water in an additional 20.1 miles of canal.
The money stems from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The $2.9 million comes from a pot of $11 million ARRA dollars set aside for the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.
It is anticipated that the implementation of this project will result in a total annual reduction of approximately 3,156 tons of salt. This reduction in salinity will prevent economic damages from occurring in the lower Colorado River Basin. The project will also enable the share holders to make more efficient use of water through the improvements.
HCIC is excited about the local short term economic boost this money will create in Emery County from the construction. The project will also result in considerable water savings for HCIC through eliminating seepage and evaporation losses in the canals and by eliminating winter stock water. It is estimated there is a 30 percent water loss in the existing canals. The canal company share holders will benefit from the additional water saved by eliminating the 9.1 miles of canals. In the past a large amount of water and ditch rider's time was needed to get stock water to the end of the canals in the winter. This project will completely eliminate all winter water in HCIC's canals saving time, money, and water.
This 2.9 million dollar salinity project is part of a larger $60 million dollar project that will bring pressurized irrigation to the Huntington/Cleveland area and replace more than 300 miles of irrigation canals and ditches. HCIC started pursuing funding for the larger salinity project back in March of 2004 and is proud to announce that more than 70 percent of the overall project is complete.
HCIC recently received an award at the Utah Nonpoint Source Water Quality Conference for their reducing pollutants into the natural water ways. The Huntington Cleveland Irrigation Salinity Reduction Project is the largest of its kind and has drawn national attention. HCIC is grateful for the help they have received from the share holders, local government agencies, Nielson Construction, PacifiCorp and their engineering consultant, JUB Engineers. The HCIC president, vice president and board members have put a lot of time into making this project successful.
Another project HCIC is involved with this fall is the repair of the Miller's Flat Reservoir. The level of the reservoir has been reduced to allow for these repairs to take place. There has been some sluffage on the side of the reservoir and some seepage of water. The state water resources has issued HCIC a grant for $390,000 to make the necessary repairs to the reservoir.
HCIC is very concerned about the condition of Miller's Flat reservoir. They were told if the repairs weren't completed then they might not be able to fill and use the reservoir for the 2010 irrigation season.
HCIC is also getting estimates on the costs associated with raising the capacity of Ralfston and Miller's Flat reservoirs.
HCIC opened the bids for the repair project at Miller's Flat. The project is to begin right away as the weather will be a factor in getting the work completed this fall. The bids received for the project were: P&K Contractors from Coalville bid $577,179. SunRock from Spanish Fork bid $369,776.50. Nelco from Price bid $510,295. Nielson Construction from Huntington bid $373,289.
The project will include excavation, clearing and grubbing of repair area, ground drain work, concrete, weir boxes, steel pipe installation, installation of a drainage blanket to collect water, extend outlets. The grant money is a 90/10 match and HCIC will come up with their 10 percent match. The completion date is listed as Nov. 1 with a $500 penalty for each day over that date with some allowances made for unseasonal weather.
There is a need for increased holding capacity at the HCIC reservoirs. Currently Ralfston fills three to four times a year and Miller's Flat fills every other year. JUB engineer Brandon said it is approximately $868 per acre foot to raise the capacity 10 feet. HCIC owns land on the east abutment and there is sufficient material there to raise Miller's Flat berm. It was also determined the outlet pipe of the spillway was too small and when the raising of the reservoir takes place then those pipes will need to be enlarged. The reservoir will be drawn down even lower next year should the project go forward to raise the dam. It was mentioned that 400 acre feet must be left to save the fish.
HCIC and Patsy Stoddard, Emery County Progress Editor, contributed to this story.