Tag Archives: gering-ft. laramie irrigation district

Irrigation season is over for most farmers, but the irrigators on the Ft. Laramie Canal will have water through the first week of October.

Goshen and Gering Ft. Laramie Irrigation Districts will extend their contract for water past midnight on Sept. 30, with the help of the states of Nebraska, Wyoming and the Bureau of Reclamation.

“Because of the extenuating circumstances, we’re working under. The decree committee, agreed to allow us to go into October a little ways,” said Rick Preston district manager for Gering Ft. Laramie Irrigation District.

Preston said the water would most likely be shut off on Oct. 5, but irrigators, if they want, will have water until the Oct. 7 or 8.

Once the irrigation season is over, the Goshen and Gering Ft. Laramie Irrigation Districts will turn their attention to a permanent fix for the canal.

The two districts have been working with the Bureau since Sept. 5, on finding every possible fix available.

On Sept. 24, the districts met again, and the Bureau presented them with four preliminary solutions for the canal.

The drafts include digging a new canal, which could take about 24 months, but water would still be available through the current fix. Digging out the tunnel to open up the channel; sleeving the tunnel; and a chemical grouting, which creates a bubble of secure soil around the tunnel.

All of the drafts are preliminary without costs. The Goshen and Gering Ft. Laramie Irrigation Districts will be able to review the final drafts in the first week of October. At which point, they will know more about what the repairs will cost.

If the districts can’t find or finance the money for the repairs. Unfortunately, the costs will fall back on the landowner to pay.

The Goshen and Gering Ft. Laramie Irrigation Districts are also very grateful for all the help they have received from the other irrigation districts, local businesses, the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Bureau of Reclamation and individuals.

The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyo. announced on Sept. 3, it will begin lowering the water level in Guernsey Reservoir, as the 2019 irrigation season draws to a close.

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin drawing down Guernsey Reservoir on Monday, Sept. 9. The reservoir will drop 12 feet to reach an elevation of 4400.00 feet by

Sept. 17. The drawdown will vary from then, as irrigators along the Ft. Laramie Canal system is just now getting to irrigate crops. 

“We’re trying to position Glendo and Guernsey, and our reservoir system to handle any adjustments they’ll (irrigation districts) make on those deliveries this month,” said Shane Hayden public relations with the Reclamation Wyoming Office 

The demand for water deliveries from the Goshen and Gering-Ft. Laramie Irrigation Districts are high. 

Producers along the canal are watering corn, sugar beets and alfalfa, to make weight or get another cutting before it freezes. While the water is now available, there is only so much time before a frost occurs.

“Heaven forbid we get any frost before the first week of October,” said Rick Preston district manager at Gering-Ft. Laramie Irrigation District. “I would imagine after about 10 or 12 days the guys who are putting water on corn and beans will shut off. I got a feeling they want to give those crops a real good drink before finishing.”

Sugar beet growers will likely water up until the end of September to increase their tonnage. 

The wild card is the weather. An early freeze will end the growing season and water deliveries.

Preston said that even without a freeze, they would likely end irrigation in the first part of October. 

Hayden added Glendo Reservoir levels are expected to continue gradually declining and reach a water surface elevation near 4597.30 feet around Sept. 30.