Water from Crane Creek to be shut off Sept. 1 for Weiser Irrigation District

The Weiser Irrigation District has announced that its allotment of water from Crane Creek Reservoir will end on Sept. 1.
 After that, the district will rely on the Weiser River to continue sending water to farmers.
 “We will be drawing from Crane Creek until the first of the month and then our allotment will be gone,” said Jay Edwards of the Weiser Irrigation District. “After that, we will run on the regular river flow. We are supplementing, probably, 60 or 70 percent of the river flow with Crane Creek water, so it will be a significant reduction. Normally, what happens, is the nights get cooler and the river rises in September. We will normally get river flow that we will take into the canal at that time. Hopefully that’s what happens this year.”
 Temperatures this season, however, have been extreme and it is not clear how much water users could potentially receive from the Weiser River for the remainder of the season. 
 As of Monday, Aug. 22, the Treasure Valley experienced 21 consecutive days of 100- degree and higher temperatures, breaking the record for most triple-digit days in a year, which was set at 20 in 2003, according to the National Weather Service.
 The agency said this year’s extreme heat has become a trend in recent years.
 “We are consistently above 10 days now, per summer,” Les Colins of the National Weather Service told the Idaho Statesman last week. “Years ago, that would have been at the upper end. Now, we’re doing it routinely. To go above 20 or 21 days in near future years, I would say that the trend is heading in that direction.”
 Idaho Snow Survey Supervisor for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation District said in April that water levels at Crane Creek were very low compared to normal.
 “Mann Creek, we are talking about 43 percent full as of yesterday (March 27), so that’s not even half full,” he told the Weiser Signal American. “Normally this time of year, it would probably be around 75 percent full, so the reservoir status is pretty low on that.”
 Loveland did not have an official level for Crane Creek but estimated it to be no more than about 50 percent full at the time.
 “January was a really good survey because there was a lot of snow, but then there was a lot of melt and with March, I think there was hardly any snow out there (Crane Creek) and I could probably guess that right now, all of that snow has melted with all the warm temperatures we’ve had. With that said, Crane Creek reservoir has probably received all that it’s going to get,” he said.
 Loveland was right and as a result, the Weiser Irrigation District notified users in April that it would be moving to a rotation, which Edwards said has worked well. Without the rotation, the water from Crane Creek would have run out about three weeks ago.
 Edwards said the district will do everything it can to make sure farmers get what they need.
 “Normally, the landowner or farmer will call our ditch rider, Ryan Davis, and he will try to allocate the river water to the users that really need to have it,” he said. “If you have corn or beets, they will try to clear everybody out so that they get that portion of the water a little bit longer.”


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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