Water is a topic for heated discussion. During Carbon Canal Company’s monthly meeting on Tuesday night, tempers flared and questions were raised by shareholders. Many in attendance voiced concern about canal company board members not addressing specific issues in a timely and respectful manner.
It was brought up by several shareholders that gates located on personal property are being left open by canal company officials. On numerous occasions, livestock roamed outside of the owner’s property and were injured or lost.
Shareholders feel that regulations set by the canal board stating that gates remain unlocked during irrigation season are unrealistic. However, according to the board, unlocked gates save time and the watermaster is able to perform his job in a more timely manner.
Both sides agreed that the matter needs to be looked into further and a resolution made. Shareholders vowed that if something is not done, then the issue will come to a head. They do realize solving the problem will take time but meanwhile, property owners do ask that the matter be handled with respect by board members.
Another concern to shareholders is maintenance. As stated by canal company regulations, water users are responsible to repair and maintain headgates. Currently, all headgates are under lock and key, which is governed by the company. Many are confused on how to take care of the equipment if it is not easily accessed.
According to the board, headgates are unlocked during the winter. This is the time when repairs should be made. Some shareholders disagreed and stated that their headgates remained locked throughout the off season.
Although users are required to keep this equipment in good working condition, the canal board did not clearly outline, during the meeting, how this matter should be handled.
Concern was also made regarding minimum watering times. Currently, shareholders are required to utilize a 24 hour minimum schedule. Some feel that this requirement is too long and water is being wasted. Their solution is to establish a sharing pool which allows various users to coordinate watering schedules with one another. That way, if one user does not use their entire scheduled time, a second user could use the remaining time to water their property. They feel less water will be wasted through this method. The board agreed that the matter needs to be looked into further.
Several concerns were aired during the meeting, but no resolutions made. One thing that both sides agreed on, however, is that water is a precious resource that is in short supply.
The Carbon Canal Company will conduct it’s next meeting on June 10 at the Carbon County Fairgrounds Events Center beginning at 6 p.m.