Spring rains raise water levels to higher than last year, allowing TID to start water deliveries to patrons, including Ashland golf course
By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news
After weighing the options on how to move forward all month, Talent Irrigation District directors announced Monday morning that the district will start making water deliveries to irrigators, which could include Ashland’s publicly funded golf course, starting July 5.
The district held meetings each Monday this month to evaluate water levels to date, and had postponed announcing a delivery date until today due to consistent precipitation. The board convened a special meeting at 7 a.m. Monday to briefly announce the decision to begin, in light of a seasonally warm 10-day forecast ahead.
“The weather patterns just helped a lot,” district secretary and manager Wanda Derry told Ashland.news Monday afternoon. “We actually have a couple thousand acre feet more available this year than we did last year.”
Derry said the higher amount of acre feet will continue to help irrigators throughout the summer months and that there is no set end date for the season at this time.
“Some people are just now, with the weather pattern, being able to get their hay cut … their first cutting,” Derry said. “With us starting up, once they get their hay cut, then they’ll be able to irrigate after that first cutting and I know that’s beneficial to them and of course, water later in the summer is beneficial to the trees and the vineyards.
“We’re liking the idea that we’ll have water to provide during the hotter part of the summer,” she added.
She credits the boost to consistently heavy rains that have helped increase Emigrant Lake levels (41% as of June 19), though Howard Prairie (14%) and Hyatt (7%) lake levels continue to be lower than normal.
Rick Landt, chair of the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission, told Ashland.news that the commission plans to utilize TID water for the course and plans to keep it open.
“What our goal is is to keep the golf course open as long as it’s playable, using TID water … and rain,” Landt said. “That’s what we’re going to use to keep the golf course open as long as we can.”
TID will start flushing the main canals the week of June 27, during which time no water deliveries will be made, according to the website.
“It takes approximately one week to flush the debris and slowly soak the canals in preparation for water deliveries,” the website stated. “The canals need to be brought up to operating depths slowly so as not to cause canal failure.”
The TID office will begin taking water orders starting on Thursday, June 30, but no deliveries will be made until Tuesday, July 5.
“It is important to remember that not everyone will be able to start irrigating the week of July 5,” according to the TID website. “Head gates will be unlocked as needed for you to irrigate. We are working to avoid the problems we had last year when some people kept turning their water on without permission.”
Reach Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at firstname.lastname@example.org.