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Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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111.PROJECT:Wheatland Irrigation District Laramie River Diversion
SPONSOR:Wheatland Irrigation District
LOCATION:Platte County
Purpose Chapter Session Account Appropriation Due Date
Level II 8 1995 II $100,000   1996
Level III 45 1997 II $315,000* 2000
*50% grant, 50% loan (4%, 20 years)

The Wheatland Irrigation District serves approximately 55,284 acres and 911 water users. The Wheatland Irrigation District assesses $9.50/acre. The irrigators have an estimated ability to pay of $18.00 - $20.00/acre.

In 1996 Kennedy Engineering completed a Level II study of Wheatland Tunnel Diversion, Diversion Dam operation, and Gunbarrel Lateral canal.

The operation of the Wheatland Tunnel Diversion from the Laramie River into Bluegrass Creek has resulted in fish kills in the Laramie River at least twice in the last 10 years. The fish kills occur when diversions from the Laramie River into Bluegrass Creek are stopped at the end of the irrigation season and the tunnel is shut down for the winter. Water and sediment impounded behind the diversion dam is sluiced into the Laramie River resulting in draining of the impoundment and water quality standards violations. The study investigated structural and management alternatives to prevent these events from occurring in the future. Using their own resources, the Wheatland Irrigation District has constructed a box around the outlet and modified the intake to draw water from the top rather than the bottom of the reservoir.

The State Engineer has requested that the Wheatland Irrigation District install a measuring device at the diversion from the Laramie River into Bluegrass Creek. The Level II study completed by Kennedy Engineering in 1996 recommended several improvements be made to the diversion system. The following improvements are proposed: 1) a measuring weir will be constructed, 2) the outlet gates from the Laramie River into Bluegrass Creek will be moved to accommodate the new weir and the gates will be automated, 3) a SCADA system enabling remote operation will be installed. Rehabilitation of the concrete on the diversion dam will also be completed. Construction is expected to begin and be completed during 1998.

No legislative action is required on this project.

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