The Fayette Irrigation District would like to rehabilitate a major conveyance ditch known as the
West Lateral. This portion of the system has the potential to irrigate 403 acres or roughly 19% of the
total adjudicated acres in the district. A Level II study by WWDC was completed in 1999.
The district is eager to repair this aging system and is wary of involuntary abandonment of their
rights. This district holds a 1906 water right for approximately 21 cfs; and another right secured in
1952 for 7.45 cfs. By completing the rehabilitation of this irrigation system, WWDC can prevent the
loss of this water to downstream out of state users and help keep Wyoming's water in the state.
While most lots are broken into 10 acres, there are several district members who own several lots
and are able to produce hay for sale. The largest agricultural production occurs on 300 acres of
irrigable land known as the Christmann Ranch.
The 1999 Level II study conducted in an inventory of the system, identified needed rehabilitation
and improvements, examined the potential for an improved water supply, and prepared conceptual
designs and cost estimates for those items.
The 2000 session of the legislature authorized a Level III project loan of $98,500 for a period of 20
years at 7.25% interest. The project has a reversion date of July 1, 2004. The sponsor declined to
move forward with the project due to financial concerns.
The sponsor would like to rehabilitate a smaller portion of the conveyance system, which would
result in a smaller debt load to the District.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends the existing project legislation be amended and the appropriation of
$98,500 be reduced to $75,000. The financing plan would also be amended to a 50% grant, $37,500,
and a 50% loan, $37,500, at an interest rate of 6% for a term of 20 years.