Sponsors Rededicate the Thirty Mile Irrigation Canal

Sponsors Rededicate the Thirty Mile Irrigation Canal



CONTACT: JESS MINTKEN, PROJECTS MANAGER or MARCIA LEE (308) 385-6282                  

DATE:  AUGUST 20, 2014

Sponsors Rededicate the Thirty Mile Irrigation Canal

(GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  In July 1928, a ceremony was held to dedicate the Thirty Mile Canal at Midway Ranch with over 10,000 people in attendance.  A special train brought officials from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Union Pacific and CB&Q Railroad.  Considering it was 1928 and the massive number of people who attended; it gives you an idea of how important the canal was to the Dawson County area. 

A Rededication Ceremony to celebrate the completion of the rehab and tour of the project was held on Tuesday with sponsors, Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) board and staff, Thirty Mile Irrigation District (TNID) board and staff, and community members in attendance.  Partners who spoke at the rededication included Lyndon Vogt, CPNRD general manager; Jim Harris, TMID manager; Brandi Flyr, Nebraska Dept. of Natural Resources; Mark Brohman, Nebraska Environmental Trust; Luke Dutcher, Miller & Associates; and Jerry Kenny, Platte River Recovery Program.

The project was initiated in 2012, when former CPNRD general manager Ron Bishop approached the Thirty Mile Irrigation Company to negotiate a new way to increase flows to the Platte River.  The Thirty Mile board and the CPNRD board agreed to a complete rehabilitation of the canal. 

The CPNRD will be able to use the additional groundwater recharge and excess flows as credit to meet endangered species requirements of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, as well meet designated flow requirements as determined by LB 962.  The TMID has seen an increase in irrigation efficiency, and will continue to see enhanced surface and groundwater supplies for many years to come.

CPNRD paid $1.9 million for half interest in the irrigation district; which includes half of the irrigation district’s water rights and half of the value of buildings and equipment.  The rehabilitation has included replacement or installation of 8 bridges, 8 check structures, 9 drop structures, 3 pipe roadway crossings, 2 pipe laterals, 4 miscellaneous structures, 5 flow measurement devices/structures and installation of rip rap.

The total cost of the project was $5 million.  The rehabilitation was approved as a Platte Basin Habitat Enhancement Project, which provided 40 percent funding from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and 20 percent funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.  The Central Platte NRD and Thirty Mile Irrigation District each provided 20 percent. 

The Thirty Mile Canal is one of three canals to be rehabilitated by the partners along the Cozad Canal and Orchard Alfalfa Canal.  A rededication ceremony was held in June for the Cozad Canal. The rededication ceremony for Orchard Alfalfa Canal will be held in the spring of 2015.