The objective of the project is to prepare a plan that including rehabilitation of existing structures; automation of structures and measurement devices; canal/lateral lining, and canal/lateral reconfiguration to promote greater storage potential, and improve system efficiency.
The Wheatland Irrigation District (WID) spans three counties in southern Wyoming: Carbon, Albany, and Platte. Its history spans Wyoming statehood and its accomplishments represent several ‘firsts’ for the State. Initial surveys of the Wheatland Flats began in 1881 followed by the incorporation of the Wyoming Development Company in 1883: the first actual irrigation corporation within the Territory of Wyoming. Today, the WID infrastructure includes eleven reservoirs with total storage rights of approximately 180,000 acre feet and water rights on 10 streams. The primary conveyance facilities consist of approximately 120 miles of the canal, two tunnels, and all appurtenant structures. Approximately 54,100 acres are presently served by the WID.
The WID faces several operational and maintenance issues including age and deterioration of infrastructure, operational issues associated with the remote nature of the WID’s water resources and timing delays associated with conveyance, canal and lateral seepage, management and operation of several storage reservoirs, and encroachment by development associated with the City of Wheatland.
The objective of the project was to prepare a plan that identified practical and economic improvements including rehabilitation of existing structures; automation of structures and measurement devices; canal/lateral lining, and canal/lateral reconfiguration to promote greater storage potential, reduce liabilities, and improve system efficiencies. Included in the plan were conceptual level costs estimates to support a legislative request for Level III construction funding.
Specific tasks incorporated in the project included:
- Completion of a system-wide inventory of the structures along all of the WID canals, laterals, and storage facilities and identification of potential rehabilitation needs.
- Development of a database/GIS mapping that facilitated the planning process, documented the inventory of structures, and provided valuable data to the WID to promote operation and management of water deliveries as well as implementation of planned improvements. The WID GIS incorporates ACE’s Irrigation Geodatabase Tool (IGT) which enables the novice user to navigate, to utilize the extensive databases, and to generate maps
- Preparation of a prioritized rehabilitation plan that identifies practical and economic improvements including installation of pressurized pipe systems, construction of regulation storage reservoirs, canal/lateral lining, rehabilitation of existing structures, automation of structures and measurement devices, and as appropriate, implementation of on-farm improvements.
- Evaluation of WID finances and development of a financial planning model the WID can use to evaluate various project implementation scenarios.
- Evaluation of alternative sources to fund the proposed rehabilitation plan.
- Preparation of conceptual level designs and cost estimates that support a legislative request for Level II investigation funding or Level III construction funding.