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
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required on this project.