Local irrigation season starts this week

Priming under way for SVID

— The 2017 watering season is getting under way.

Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District officials started priming the main canal yesterday, Assistant Manager of Operations Dave Bos said.

The Roza Irrigation District will begin its diversions Saturday, Manager Scott Revell said.

While some users will see water this week, the schedule doesn’t mean all users will have water by the end of this week.

“The canal priming will continue throughout the next two weeks,” Bos said in an update for water users.

SVID will prime the Lower Division Thursday; Snipes Lateral, March 27; Mabton, March 28; and Prosser, March 29.

“Irrigation water will be available to all water users on request by April 3,” Bos said.

A harsh winter delayed the start of watering season, but the accompanying snow is a good sign for growers, Revell said.

“The start date was pushed back from March 15 due to delayed crop development and frozen ground in the upper portion of the district,” he said.

Federal Bureau of Reclamation predicts a 96 percent water supply for Roza and other proratable irrigation districts, Revell said.

“The official forecast also includes a low end forecast of 79 percent water supply which is predicated on receiving 50 percent of normal precipitation through the water season,” he said.

And the snowpack gives cause for continued optimism, Revell said.

“Recent rains soaked into the snowpack without washing it away,” he said. “Snow density is 34 to 38 percent currently, which is comparatively good for this time of year.”


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