Canal officials trying to mitigate problems caused by construction delays

Work to restore the full flow of irrigation water to thousands of acres of Cache Valley farmland could be delayed now that a full environmental impact statement has been ordered on a canal construction project. The water flow was lost last summer when a mudslide killed a mother and her two children in their home on Canyon Road when the Logan Northern Canal broke. Canal company president Keith Meikle says a lot of farmers have been hurt but Logan City has buried the Lundstrom Park line and put in a second headgate so more water could get into that channel.”With the other, Logan Northern took out a loan with the State Board of Water Resources and they built a line to deliver water to their users north of Hyde Park,” Meikle said on KVNU’s Crosstalk Show. “Including the Cache County School District, there’s about 30 different land owners on that line. They’re the biggest chunk of the water share holders.”Then the northern part of Logan, they basically are running wells and we run as much water to be diverted back into their canal when it crosses at Summit Creek in Smithfield.”Meikle also said the farmers are getting only about half the water they need and because prices are suppressed right now they are being put in an incredible bind. He says hopefully it won’t be long before an extensive canal reconstruction project, that will help the farmers, can get started.Meikle is inviting the public to what he calls a very important meeting Tuesday. The Cache Highline Water Association public scoping meeting will be held at the Bridgerland Applied Technology College at 1301 North 600 West with presentations starting at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Meikle says four different alternatives will be explained.Meikle says the canal company’s preferred alternative is the one referred to as 3100 North because it has the best cost-to-benefit ratio.”At that point you don’t hardly have any homes and the canals are very close together,” he continued. “What we do, you line the canal up to that area. You then drop Logan’s northern water back down to them in an enclosed, pressurized pipe.”There’s a lot of fall there and that gravity creates pressure on the water. That water then is delivered in a smaller pipe back south down the canal so all the people south down the canal will get pressurized water. In the future the canal companies could run a pressurized line going north which shuts down hundreds of horse powers of pumps.”Meikle says cities would gain storm water as well. This alternative is the most expensive, at a cost of $27.6 million dollars. Logan Public Works Director Mark Nielson told the city council last week that he also prefers the 3100 North alternative.

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