Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to use. We irrigate our meadows with water from the river which is diverted into ditches through a head gate and onto the land. The pioneers who came to this valley in the mid 1800’s created this system and we are very lucky that our water rights are very senior because of their age. But the water goes on through to an adjoining property and it is always difficult to make people happy with enough water, either too much or too little. One year we had so much rain and a downpour washed away our fences and the back ditch in the beginning of July. We never fixed the ditch the rest of the season because of all the rain, but even still, come early September haying time , our neighbor who leases the meadow was furious, thinking we flooded him out.
Last year in late summer when the water level was lowest, he had a man come and completely change the spillway which had been in place forever. Though it was not perfect, we always could get our water. The major work was done, but it was said that to make a complete job it would cost $35,000. Ha! We declined of course.
So now with the rising Spring snow melt, the entire side of the spillway has washed away, and the major snow melt has not even occurred.
Luit worked all day yesterday, gathering huge boulders from our place and trying to repair the dam.
This is the area in front of our head gate and the loose rocks and gravel filled it in from the river work last year which loosened everything up. You can see how shallow it is, and where the water level on the bank used to be.
So he cleans out that area and builds up the dam.
This is the measuring box which the ditch water is supposed to flow through.
More big rocks are brought in and placed.
Some were too big to pick up, so he had to roll them in place.
Surveying where to place the largest boulder.
It is amazing that it just sank. Since the work was done last year on just soft gravel in the river, the force of the water had gone around and under the rocks and eroded everything under them away, causing the water level to drop about a foot and a half.
He gets on his shorts and goes in just to make sure nothing is stuck inside the culvert.
He did the best job he could, but we just on’t have enough boulders, nor big enough equipment.
The water level has not come up at all, and even though it is in the culvert, there is not enough of it for a strong push.
Of course he has had to use his basic reminder to me several times: “You are going to just have to calm down.”
It is a pity because this is going to take a lot of time and money, scarcities to be sure, and he has to get back to Dallas to fight the Mother’s day battle at the shop. There are lot’s more important things in this life to cry about and it’s easy to get dehydrated from too much of it.
Raising grassfood does take grass, so I’ll just have to drink another glass of water before I get too dehydrated.