On August 23, 1990, Governor Sullivan requested the WWDC to use its
resources to define and evaluate potential solutions to the problems
facing the non-Indian water users. The WWDC concluded that regardless
of the outcome of the litigation/negotiation, the non-Indian irrigators
will have to be more water efficient. Therefore, the WWDC entered into
an agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct
rehabilitation/water use efficiency analyses throughout the basin. The
Bureau of Reclamation has entered into agreements with the Soil
Conservation Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Tribes to do
portions of the study.
WWDC conducted assessments of the LeClair and Riverton Valley Irrigation
Districts. WWDC has also mapped the actual irrigated land in the basin.
The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared evaluations of the Midvale and
Owl Creek Irrigation Districts. The Soil Conservation Service
determined the "on-farm" water needs for the entire study area and
evaluated small private canal systems off the reservation. The Tribes
have conducted evaluations of the Wind River Irrigation Project and
small independent canal systems on the reservation.
The first phase of the cooperative technical effort is complete. The
WWDC and the Tribes completed an evaluation of the enlargement potential
of Dinwoody Lakes Reservoir. The other reports have identified numerous
rehabilitation and betterment options that will save water and provide
for more efficient operations. These efforts were incorporated into a
summary report prepared in 1994. In 1994, the LeClair and Riverton
Valley Irrigation Districts received Level III funds to convert their
existing open ditch lateral systems to pipelines. In 1995, the Midvale
Irrigation District received Level III funds to pursue a water
conservation project, the Sand Mesa Pipeline, as identified in the
Bureau report. The Tribes are pursuing conservation projects.
In 1994, the WWDC requested additional funding for the Wind River
Planning Study so it may participate in identified water conservation
projects and, through cooperative efforts with the Tribes, design an
enlargement to Ray Lake and define improvements needed for the Ethete
domestic water supply system. The WWDC and the Tribes are in the
process of preparing final designs of the rehabilitation needs and
enlargement of Ray Lake Dam. In 1994, a Madison formation test well was
drilled under a cooperative agreement between WWDC and the Tribes. In
1995, a second test well was drilled. The results of these test wells
and an assessment of the rural water supply system for Ethete are being
used by the Tribes to prepare an improvement plan.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required or recommended on this project.