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Cooperative effort of irrigation companies leads to water conservation




Franson, Jay W., author
Ploeger, Lauren C., author
Hogge, Vince R., author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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The West Side Combined Canals Salinity Project (Combined Canals) was a multi-million dollar combined irrigation project that met the needs of two irrigation companies and the Ute and Ouray Indian Tribes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Uintah River Irrigation Company (URIC), and the Ouray Park Irrigation Company (OPIC) had historically competed over the limited Uinta River water supply. A steering committee made up of representatives from these groups met monthly over the past decade to oversee and direct the development of the Combined Canals. The project involved working together to create one large pressurized distribution system, rather than merely laying pipe in the existing alignments of the seven participating canals. A memorandum of understanding was produced that defined operation of the combined system. A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system was implemented to allow project participants to monitor water usage and water accounting. Each entity was able to realize an increased water supply, an increase which may have been economically infeasible if implemented as individual projects.


Presented at Irrigation district sustainability - strategies to meet the challenges: USCID irrigation district specialty conference held on June 3-6, 2009 in Reno, Nevada.

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