The Fogg and Butte ditch companies have received a court decreed change of diversion on Surface Creek that promises to improve water conservation and use in Surface Creek Valley.
As a result, the OCID irrigators will have a better chance of using the valley's supply of extra springtime water on their fields and orchards before the water exits the valley and heads to downstream users.
The water court's decree allows the two companies, which take their water out of Surface Creek at Eckert, to change the point of diversion as needed upstream to the Alfalfa Ditch headgate at Cedaredge.
The water court's decree that confers the right for Butte and Fogg to take their water out at Cedaredge and place it into the Alfalfa Ditch offers a distinct advantage to irrigators and water managers, explained Jimmie Boyd, Orchard City trustee and former water commissioner to the Orchard City Town Board on Feb. 13.
The change allows spring flood water cascading down Surface Creek to divert through Fruitgrowers Reservoir. That helps to modulate the large difference between day and night flows coming off of Grand Mesa snow melt in the spring.
In times past, water for the two ditch companies was diverted into the Alfalfa from time to time as determined necessary by District 40 water commissioners working out of the Cedaredge office. However, by gaining a water court decree, the water management advantages of using the Alfalfa headgate when needed are established in right.
Two years ago at the OCID's annual meeting, irrigators and water managers were confident the application for point of diversion change would sail routinely through court.
Then, however, the Town of Cedaredge filed an unexpected objection fearing that additional water flowing in the Alfalfa through the town's golf course housing development presented a risk to homeowners.
The issue was headed for trial in water court. But the town's withdrawal of its objection finally allowed the decree to move forward unhindered.blog comments powered by Disqus