Water flow through the tunnels were returned to 97% of capacity this summer, resulting in near normal water deliveries by the three major irrigation districts in the North Platte Valley during the 2021 growing season.
Water deliveries by the four major irrigation districts (Pathfinder, Gering-Fort Laramie, Goshen and Farmers) are expected to be near normal. The districts hope to deliver water to growers through the first week in September.
Temporary repairs to the tunnels have been made resulting in restoring flow, but at reduced levels. The Gering/ Ft. Laramie Irrigation District is planning for their irrigators to receive only 75 percent of their normal allotment.
Following a visit from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s top official, twp irrigation districts in the North Platte Valley have selected repair and upgrade options for three tunnels along the main supply canal.
With a preliminary fix in place for the Goshen/Gering-Ft Laramie irrigation canal, irrigation district and government officials are now looking at the next steps for ensuring the whole canal can be a consistent source of water for upcoming cropping seasons.
Water began flowing in the Gering-Fort Laramie and Goshen irrigation canal early Aug. 28 for the first time in about six weeks. Repairs to a canal tunnel are enough to allow water flow, but likely are not permanent. Our story includes a slideshow and three time-lapse videos of crops growing in the affected area.
Today, growers and nearby communities breathed a sigh of relief as the USDA Risk Management Agency announced that the water loss resulting from Goshen/Gering-Ft. Laramie Canal tunnel collapse was an insurable loss.