ASHTON, Idaho (KIFI) – The Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF), Conant Creek Canal Company and Fremont-Madison Irrigation District are partnering on a project that has received $1.1 million from the USBR WaterSMART Efficiency Grant Program water and energy in 2022.
The project aims to conserve water and improve the efficiency and accuracy of delivery to water users in eastern Idaho.
The project will cover 5.7 miles of the Conant Creek Canal with high density polyethylene lining, change the diversion point and establish an automation system on the diversion valves and the spill location. The project is expected to save 2,850 acre-feet of water annually that are currently lost through seepage.
Some of the conserved water will be used as a buffer to avoid interruptions to irrigation water supply during low water years, and the remainder will remain in Conant Creek.
From a fisheries perspective, the water conserved by this project will increase flows in Conant Creek and Fall River during the irrigation season, which will help reduce solar loading, effectively lowering water temperatures in these sections. In addition, water conservation will increase storage water in Island Park Reservoir in late summer and early fall. As the heart of Henry’s Fork fisheries, Island Park Reservoir’s water supply can make a significant difference to fisheries health and the fishing experience.
“This is the largest federal grant project HFF has participated in and we are grateful that the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Grant Program saw value in this major effort,” said HFF Executive Director Brandon Hoffner. . “Finding win-win solutions for agriculture and fishing in our watershed can enable us to conserve water on a scale we’ve never seen before.”
Increasing storage water in Island Park Reservoir during late summer and early fall will help maintain the health of the reservoir and provide a supply of fresh, oxygenated water up to reach. Henry’s Fork below the reservoir as well as a thermal refuge from the cold. – aquatic aquatic species.
To learn more about the Henry’s Fork Foundation or to see future updates on the project, visit www.henrysfork.org.