This spring, Blanding is reaping the benefits of a new Dry Wash Reservoir pipeline that was completed in the fall of 2018. It is the most recent advancement in a series of great strides the city has made in water storage over the course of recent years.
The reservoir remains at 100 percent capacity, thanks in part to the pressurized pipeline, which eliminates approximately 40 percent water loss suffered by the original open canal system due to over-spilling and evaporation.
Completed at a cost of around $600,000 through the combined efforts of Jones & DeMille Engineering, the Blanding Irrigation Company (BIC), and TDA Construction of Meeker, CO, the 1.7 miles of pipeline connects with approximately a half mile of existing pipeline to replace 2.25 miles of open canal.
The capacity of Dry Wash Reservoir, constructed in 1962, was increased from 185 acre feet to 550 acre feet in 2015. At that point, according to Jones and DeMille Monticello Office Manager Scoot Flannery, the BIC knew they needed a way to efficiently transport more water to the reservoir.
Along with Flannery, BIC President Shane Shumway and Bruce Lyman helped obtain a Utah Division of Water Resources loan for the pipeline project.
In early 2017, they leveraged that loan to add a matching grant from the Bureau of Reclamation. With these funds, Jones and DeMille engineered a project that would line the entire canal with pipe and modify an inefficient drainage structure that was built in 2003.
Jones and DeMille Project Manager Kedric Curtis estimates the pipeline will provide an additional 500 to 700 acre feet of water from Dry Wash Reservoir annually. And it couldn’t have come at a better time following a moisture-laden winter.
Flannery gives all credit for the new pipeline to the Blanding Irrigation Company, saying it epitomizes the same “pioneering spirit that the Blanding ancestors had with water …that is still alive in their descendants.”