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Irrigation season around the corner

Irrigation water should be flowing to the Lower Yakima Valley by April 1, and that's no fooling.

That's according to news from the Sunnyside Division Board of Control's regular monthly meeting yesterday, Tuesday.

Dave Bos, SVID assistant manager responsible for operations, said priming will start on March 16, with the goal to get water to all users by April 1.

Bos said the schedule will see priming start at Snipes Canal on March 25. On March 26, priming is scheduled for the Snipes Laterals - which serve city of Sunnyside users - as well as the Mabton Lateral.

March 27 will see priming continue at laterals 30.20, 23.10, BN 59.32 and 48.04.

Priming will wrap up on March 28 with Matheson, Prosser and other laterals as requests are received.

In one more bit of good news for irrigators, Bos reported yesterday the snowpack is on track, sitting at 98 percent of average for this time of year.

He suggested, however, a bit of guarded optimism in terms of the water supply.

Compared to the past 30 years, the water supply now sits at 122 percent of average for this time of year. Bos added, though, that the water supply is down about 10 percent compared to this time last year.

In others news related to the upcoming irrigation season, SVID crews are wrapping up work on a new pump station east of Whitstran, between Pioneer and Rothrock roads. The project is part of a busy winter season that saw SVID install five miles of pipe.

"Everything's nearly done, there are just a few more details," said Ron Cowin, SVID's assistant manager responsible for engineering.

He told the Board of Control yesterday that work near Whitstran will wrap up in time for priming to start later this month. "We're pleased with the way it's going," he said.

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