Meikle: canal proposal one ‘we can work with’

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide 75 percent of the funding for the Logan Northern Canal Reconstruction Project and will announce the preferred alternative at two meetings this week. Local canal company official Keith Meikle said the NRCS preferred option is acceptable. “It’s an alternative we can work with. It’s not the alternative the communities and the canal companies were working toward,” said Meikle. Meikle said there were three main options in the final study. “One was an option on Canyon Road, whether that would be piping or putting it on the slope that gave way and took the canal out with it. “Another option, preferred by the NRCS, is 1500 North. That basically brings the canal straight down 1500 North to the other canal. That develops about 80-to-90 PSI in the fall off the hill. They take that pressurized water and run it back up the Logan Northern alignment to feed water to the users clear back to the south, to the break. Then the other water is energy dissipated and dumped into the Logan Northern structure. “The 3100 North option was basically the same thing as the 1500 North option, just taken clear out to at least 2900 North. That would have saved a considerable more amount of seepage loss and created the Logan Northern. They did much more of a feasible channel for the cities to carry the storm water out of their municipal areas.” Meikle said it is hoped construction can begin in a year. Until then, what can farmers expect in water delivery for their irrigation needs this year? “Although it’s been an extremely wet year and there is plenty of water, the farmers are facing basically a severe drought situation this year,” said Meikle. “One needs to remember you have hundreds of millions of dollars literally created out of the dirt for this economy off of that water. It has benefits all the way to the Idaho line. “When you take that out of this economy, it’s severe. Farmers are basing their livelihoods on it. What we’re talking about is getting 50 percent water delivery to them this year. That’s just enough to keep them from being a dry farm.” Meikle said Jeff White, Logan City power director, has come up with a plan to deal with concerns about how the canal reconstruction project might affect the city’s power generating system. The NRCS will announce the preferred alternative Tuesday night at a meeting of local government officials. Thursday it will host a 5:30 p.m. meeting at the BATC West Campus to accept public comment. This Logan and Northern Canal Reconstruction Project has been under discussion for almost two years, since the hillside above Logan’s Canyon Road went out from under the canal, killing a mother and her two children.

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