- The agenda for the meeting was approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- The Minutes of the August 17, 2022 board meeting were approved on motion by John McKee and carried.
- O&M Report and AIM Project Update:
Our staff have worked hard over the last month. We have completed the highway 52 dam repairs along with several other repairs. Our crew is now in the process of winterizing our infrastructure.
- Staffing – Class 1 Updated – Jason reported:
Ben Richards and Dave Powelson have finished their class 1 training and exams. The Board was very happy to hear the great news. The course and exam cost $10,717 plus approximately $2,500 travel expense per person. We have received a grant totaling $8,017 per person to offset the RID costs.
- Irrican – Jason and Amanda reported:
Power generation stopped on October 7, 2022, but up until that time the canals ran very high all year long. The power plants had very few shut downs during the season. In addition, power pool prices have been great this year. These factors resulted in Irrican’s highest revenue year on record. Revenue is currently sitting at $16M, but it is anticipated once all the revenue adjustments are completed, revenue will total $23M. Expenses to-date are approximately $5M.
The deadline to receive a discount on annual water bills is October 31 so we are processing lots of payments right now. We have a healthy balance in our bank accounts. Before the end of the year, we will be moving the income from new acre sales to a savings account.
Ford has told us that our new trucks have been manufactured, but they are waiting on chips to be installed. They are optimistic the trucks will be available by the end of October. Once the new trucks are received, the Board will review our plan to rotate our trucks by selling them in the USA annually.
- Snowpack Report / Water Supply Forecast / RID Diversion:
The Board reviewed the most recent reservoir report and RID diversions to date. Alberta Environment predicts the accumulated storage will be 49% of full by October 31. This is up from approximately 19% at this time last year. The long-term forecast indicates December through March to be cold with lots of snow.
RID diversion to date is approximately 52,000 ac ft. We served roughly 52,000 acres this year, so that average water use was 12”/acre. Over the coming months we will finalize our diversion numbers, acres irrigated, crop report, and return flow report.
It was interesting to note that May had a very high water demand. This year we tracked our water diversion on a monthly basis. We plan on continuing this so that we can compare diversion by month going forward.
- Project planning update – Darin Wilde from Wilde Brothers Engineering attended this portion of the meeting and shared information with the Board. Jason and Darin reported:
- 9 Mile & North – We have received several loads of pipe and have arranged for the road crossings to be completed by Syncor.
- Cross Coulee Pipeline – We have received several loads of pipe, but are waiting on 400 mm and 500 mm pipe so that Jenex can start installation. Ipex will be sending us more pipe by the end of the week and mid next week. We hope Jenex can start around November 1. Jason visited with the acre owners along the pipeline and domestic turnouts will be installed by the RID at the owner’s expense.
- GPS – Darin Wilde went with Jason and Cody to Portland in September to visit 3 irrigation districts (Midland, Central and Three Sisters) that use pressure reducing valves (PRV’s) in series. Jason shared pictures of the project and explained how the Oregon districts used the PRV’s. Highlights include:
- The Oregon districts deal with very silty water, which is much dirty than our water; however, they do not deal with algae like we do;
- They have used PRV’s for decades with very few issues;
- To keep the PRV’s working a pilot line must be clean. Some districts flush it daily, while others use a filter and flush it monthly;
- The PRV’s require a vault in the ground;
- In some locations they use power generating turbines as pressure reducers; and,
- Overall, they are very confident in the PRV’s and highly recommend them.
We felt the trip was well worth it. It was very reassuring to see the valves operating effectively in dirty water.
- Welling #5 to Hill – Road crossing will be completed next week and the rest of the pipe will trickle in over the next month.
- Hwy 52 Dam – The project is now completed.
- New Dayton CPR Crossing – Darin Wilde is working with CPR engineers to finalize a design plan to replace the structure. We hope to proceed with installation before Christmas.
- OK Colony – Other Purposes Agreement – Jason reported:
OK Colony installed a 14M gallon dugout this summer. The purpose is to provide a year supply of water for their poultry and hog barns, their gardens and trees, and their domestic use. The colony provided us with an engineered drawing of the dugout. Filling the dugout once per year requires 52 ac ft of water. OK Colony approached the RID in late August about obtaining water to fill the dugout via the RID’s Other Purposes allotment in our diversion licenses.
The RID Board discussed the request. Frustration was expressed over the Colony’s decision to construct the dugout without having an agreement to obtain water for the dugout. Jason explained that the colony plans on using an existing line from the Ridge Reservoir that they use to fill a small dugout.
On motion made by Craig Palmer, and carried, the Board approves allocation of 52 ac ft from the RID’s Other Purposes allotment in our diversion licenses to OK Colony.
- Equipment – Jason and Cody reported:
We have looked at a packer and telehandler that Lloyd Dennis is selling. The Board previously approved the purchase of the packer. The Board discussed the merits of purchasing a telehandler. Jason and Cody will obtain a purchase price from Lloyd Dennis and report back to the Board.
- New Acre Allocation:
Jason presented to the Board the applications received for new acres. The total number of acres applied for was 4,445. The Board reviewed and discussed the merits of each application. They also reviewed the district’s ability to provide water for each application. One of the key items the Board looked for was if the applicant planned on commencing use of the acres within the next 2 years.
On motion made by Craig Palmer, and carried, after rigorous review and discussion the Board approves the following applications, contingent upon where needed, a successful land classification, remote delivery agreement, the parcel being added to the district, an either/or agreement, use of a river screen when pumping from an open canal, and any other specific required condition:
- Directors’ Items:
Craig Palmer brought forward the following items:
- ZoBell drainage concern – When installing the first stage of the 9 mile pipeline, the trench was left slightly mounded for settling. Incidentally, the mound created a dam in a natural drain that runs through the ZoBell parcel. The issue was discussed and before next irrigation season the district will adjust the mound so that the drain will flow.
- Main Canal Meeting – The Directors discussed the upcoming Main Canal/Irrican meeting (Scheduled for Thursday October 20). The Board recognizes the need to update the Main Canal agreement, especially now that the SMRID and TID merger is finalized.
- AIDA Annual Meeting – Jason and John reported:
The AIDA annual meeting was held on September 29 and John and Jason attended. One of the big highlights from the meeting was the great efforts AIDA is putting forward to lobby Government to champion irrigation, both on a provincial and federal stage. The other big item of note was discussion surrounding the International Joint Commission (IJC). Work is being done to work with our USA counterparts to ensure that the joint water use agreement remains fair. There were many other important items discussed at the meeting, such as invasive species detection work. The RID Board is grateful to AIDA for their hard work.
- Household Purposes Agreement – Jason presented the following HPA request:
- Plan 4489J, Block 192, Lot 5&6
On motion made by Craig Palmer and carried, the Board approved the above noted HPA.
- Transfer of Irrigation Acres – Jason presented the following requests:
- 20 acres from NW 32-6-20-W4 to NW 31-5-19-W4
- 15 acres from SE 28-6-19-W4 to SE 9-7-19-W4
On motion made by Craig Palmer and carried, the Board approved the above noted acre transfers.
- Next Meeting Date
The next meeting is set for November 23, 2022.
Motion to adjourn – There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm on motion by Rod Wendorff.