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OCID, Fogg, Butte board members are re-elected

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Board members were re-elected to the Orchard City Irrigation District and to the Fogg and Butte Ditch companies at a combined annual meeting held on Jan. 28 at Orchard City Town Hall.

Returned to their board positions for the OCID board were Jeff Wick and Bert Sibley.

Fogg Ditch shareholders re-elected Marsha Thomas, Jeff Hinkley and Scot Buhrdorf to the board.

Butte Ditch members re-elected Andy Wick, Dick Kirkpatrick and Bert Sibley.

OCID Board President Jeff Wick presented a report on a serious and expensive failure of the main headgate on Dry Creek. The failure has been caused by ongoing situation of unstable soils and slideoffs.

The headgate is currently operating in the open position but needs to be repaired or replaced. It was suggested that funds could be available for the construction work through the Gunnison Basin Roundtable.

The water commissioner's office reported a snowpack at 175 percent of average for the date at Park Reservoir. Water equivalent content is 23 inches with 28 inches needed by April 1. The report also detailed inaccuracies in federal surveys of Fruitgrowers Reservoir capacity over the years.

A decade ago following an unexpected drawdown of the reservoir that resulted in a catastrophic fish kill event, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation which owns the reservoir conducted a survey of its capacity in 2007. According to a report given at the annual meeting, the high-tech survey using acoustic doppler sounding determined the reservoir capacity at 3,576 acre feet; some 20 percent less than the 4,469 acre feet found in a 1998 survey.

The BuRec bore the full $6,000 cost for another survey last year again using acoustic doppler sounding technology and found a capacity of 4,154, according to the report.

Water commissioners have to turn water based on the capacity estimates they are given, which can vary greatly, meeting attendees were told.

It looks as if this year the reservoir will fill, spill and refill again. It is currently believed that, "There will be considerable refill water with this year's snow pack," noted water commissioner Steve Tuck.

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