The Wheatland Irrigation District serves approximately 55,284 acres and
911 water users. The Wheatland Irrigation District assesses $9.50/acre.
The Wheatland Irrigation District operates Sand Lake and the Cañon Canal
as a part of their water supply and storage facilities. Sand Lake
stores 1105 acre feet of water with a 1953 priority date. Water is
released from Sand Lake into Rock Creek downstream to the diversion
headgates of the Cañon Canal. The water is transported down the Cañon
Canal to King Reservoir, and released from King Reservoir into Dutton
Creek. From Dutton Creek the water is diverted at the headgates of the
Dutton Canal to the Laramie River near Bosler. The Laramie River
conveys the water to either Wheatland Reservoir #2 or Wheatland
Reservoir #3 where it is stored until irrigation calls are made. Water
is then released down the Laramie River to the Tunnel Diversion and
carried via tunnel into Bluegrass Creek where it is diverted for
irrigation use in the vicinity of Wheatland.
In May of 1995, the emergency spillway of Sand Lake became clogged with
ice and snow. Because of the isolated, high altitude location of the
reservoir, the Wheatland Irrigation District was unable to bring
equipment in to clean the spillway. Extremely high precipitation during
April and May 1995 resulted in reservoir inflows that could not be
bypassed by the outlet works and the embankment was overtopped resulting
in a partial collapse of the embankment. Fortunately, riprap placed on
the upstream face of the dam was not washed through the breach and saved
much of the embankment. At present, the condition of the dam will not
allow water to be stored.
During the spring of 1995, unprecedented precipitation caused an active
landslide near Arlington, Wyoming to slip down slope at an accelerated
rate and breech the Cañon Canal. The canal conveys approximately 185
cfs and traverses the slide. The WID is rebuilding the canal but
further mass movement will cause canal failure again. The landslide
needs to be stabilized, or the canal rerouted to prevent further
failures. Adjudicated water rights out of Rock Creek and Sand Lake
storage water cannot be reliably conveyed to Wheatland Flats until the
canal is repaired and/or the alignment changed.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends the project be incorporated into the
Rehabilitation at Level II status with an appropriation of $200,000.