2013 Newsletter


Commissioners for divisions two and five, bob Nicholson and matt Prendergast have retained their positions on the board for another three years. The district is so very fortunate to have board members with knowledge and experience in agriculture leadership to guide the board of commissioners.

User Changes

It is extremely important to call the district office if you are contemplating a family transfer, subdivision or boundary relocation on your irrigated property. These changes will require approval from the board of commissioners for water allocations. Easements may be required, the moment you have a new preliminary map of your changes, please contact the district. It will make the entire process so much easier for all parties.

Water outlook

As of April 9, 2013, Lake Como elevation is currently at 4224.1 we will need 19,198 acre feet of water to fill the lake. Snowpack is at 83% of normal.

Annual district meeting

On June 11th, 2013, the board of commissioners will hold the annual District water user meeting. The meeting will be held at the district office at 7pm. We encourage your attendance so that you may better understand the many functions of the district, become acquainted with your ditch riders and manager, answer any questions or concerns you may have. Each year, the manager provides an excellent presentation on canal information.
Please take advantage of these public meetings. We also invite you to visit the district on our web page at: bitterrootirrigationdistrict.net you will find a lot of history and information about the district, emergency information and information about the annual meeting.

Siphon one, phase two

One phase two was completed in the fall of 2012. If you recall, this was the replacement of 720 feet of siphon pipe.  Phase two terminated just west of interstate 93.  Final engineering, observation, procurement and installation were $692,000. This was a 75/25 cost share with the army corp of engineers (WRDA) 595 grant and a $100,000 RRGL grant from the state of Montana. With (WRDA) 595 monies left over from phase two, the board opted to start working on phase three designs.

Phase three siphon pipe will go under interstate 93 and the railroad tracks and then cross the bitterroot river. Phase three consists of feasibility, design and environmental. The district goal is to have a shovel ready project so that if future funds come available, the district will be ready.

3 Mile gravity systems

Discussion and meetings will be starting soon on what will happen when the contract with dnrc is paid out for installation of five gravity pipelines in the Stevensville area. The district encourages any users on those systems who would like to be a part of the process of vital discussions regarding operation and maintenance of these gravity systems upon contract payout may call the district office.

District facts to remember during irrigation season

1. Gates must be maintained to swing freely and horizontally away from the canal
With no ground interference. Any gate not maintained to swing freely will be left open. Policy mandates no new gates may be installed along the canal.

2. The district delivers 1⁄2 miner's inch of water per irrigated acre. This is equal to 5.625 gallons per minute, per irrigated acre. If sprinkling, this should allow you to run 1 sprinkler per irrigated acre.

3. The district cannot and will not give permission to individuals to use or be on the canal right of way or easement.

4. lateral maintenance from the main canal to the point of delivery is the
responsibility of the users of the laterals.

5. Determination of the irrigation season timeline will be subject to conditions of weather, soil moisture and available water supply.

Interference with distribution system - Mt code 85-7-1924
Interference with commissioner or distribution system-penalty.

A person who in any manner interferes with the commissioners of an irrigation district or their lawful agent or employee in carrying out of the powers conferred by 85-7-1921 through 85-7-1925 or who changes or tampers with any lock box, head-gate, or other device for the apportionment or distribution of water installed by or under the authority of the commissioners or who in any manner obstructs or changes the flow of water in the distribution system of any irrigation district without authority of the commissioners of the district is, in the discretion of the commissioners, subject to a forfeiture of the persons right to delivery of water through the distribution system of the district as long as the acts continue and is guilty of obstructing a public officer or criminal mischief, as appropriate, and is punishable as provided by 45-6-101 of 45-7-302, as applicable.

Office info / 2012 ditchriders

Irrigation season office hours are Mon-Fri 8-4. Please feel free to leave a message on the answering machine. The district phone # is 961-1182.

Ride 1 - Lake Como to willow creek - rod sacks - 642-3216
Ride 2 - willow creek to Illinois bench - Smitty - 642-3643
Ride 3 - Ill. Bench to eagle watch - Greg Snedigar - 369-0322