Rain showers on Thursday were a good sign for Settlement Canyon Irrigation officials.
“We’re hoping to receive more rain the next few weeks before we turn on the water,” said new Settlement Canyon Irrigation President Robert “Bob” Clegg.
“Tentatively, we’ve set the turn-on day for not until the 28th. A lot of times we’ve turned the water on about the time of this next weekend. But we want to wait and see what happens with the weather,” Clegg said.
“We barely had 53 percent of normal precipitation during the winter so we want to stall for a couple of weeks if possible. We anticipate a long dry summer. As of March 1, our soil moisture measured only 23-24 percent of normal.”
He said water from the reservoir is usually available for shareholders from April 15 through Oct. 15.
“I’ve been a member of the board since 1999, and we’ve never turned on the water later than Mother’s Day weekend,” Clegg said. Mother’s Day this year is on May 13.
“About 8-10 years ago we had a dry winter and then a wet spring. We can only hope that happens again,” Clegg said.
He said the reservoir measures at 75-80 percent capacity, but the measurement is deceiving.
“We have two wells at the southeast end of the reservoir and that is keeping the reservoir full. We’ve been pumping all winter,” the president said.
Clegg was named president of Settlement Irrigation Company at the board meeting on Tuesday. The other board members are Ned Bevan and Mike McCoy. David Lee will continue to work as watermaster, a position he has held for the past 12 years.
About 1,000 people own the 4,320 shares of Settlement Canyon Irrigation water, according to Clegg. He said Tooele City owns several shares. The reservoir was built in 1966.
Bevan said most of the connections are residential users within the original ditch route of the company.
Grantsville Irrigation Company began pressurizing lines on April 6, and water is now available to many shareholders.
“All users should have water by Monday or Tuesday,” said Elise Mondragon, officer manager for the company.
“The allotment is determined based on the snowpack. The allotment for residential users has been lowered to 150,000 gallons due to the low snowpack. If it warms up too quickly and it is anticipated the reservoir is going to overflow, we will wait to read the meters.”
She said last year residents were issued 250,000 gallons per residential share.
“We did not begin reading the meters until July 1 because we were concerned the reservoir would overflow. People were able to water for three months without being monitored. This year we will begin with last year’s end reading because it has been so dry,” Mondragon said.
The office manager said there is a bulletin board at the office listing available shares. The office is located at 411 S. West Street.
“People are able to lease shares from other users. This is brokered through Grantsville Irrigation Company as long as the owner is willing to lease at an amount equal to the regular assessment. Those wishing to charge more to lease out their shares must take care of it themselves and are responsible for getting the assessment paid,” Mondragon said.
She said there are 10,197.5 shares in the system, and no new shares will be created.
The reservoir and associated pressurized irrigation system was built in 1983.