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.