The Roundup -

Irrigation Project Provides Vital Role For City

 


The importance of keeping operations going at the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District is greater for the City of Sidney than even many residents realize.

Along with the tremendous hit the economy would feel, the City of Sidney would also have concerns about its water aquifer.

“The canal recharges our aquifer to a great extent,” Greg Anderson, Sidney’s water department superintendent, said. “The biggest thing is that big recharge that we would be losing.”

Without the canal in operation, Anderson said the city would need to make up for the water supply somehow including possible rate increases or conservation requirements.

Sidney Mayor Rick Norby pointed out, “It’s not just the city, it’s all the people with wells.” He explained it’s because of the canal that many wells receive additional water.

The public meetings start at 5:30 p.m. on June 28 at the Richland County Event Center and on June 29 at the Dawson County High School auditorium in Glendive. A meeting at the Lincoln Center in Billings on June 30 is scheduled from 5:30-9 p.m.

Richland Economic Development is coordinating buses for trips to Glendive and Billings. The plan is for three cruiser buses to leave Sidney and another to leave Fairview for the Glendive meeting. A lunch will be provided for the trips to Glendive and Billings. To reserve your spot on the bus, call 406-482-4679.

Norby, who farmed for 18 years, said it is difficult to imagine area residents making a living without the availability of the irrigation district.

“I would hate to see it. It’s a scary thing,” Norby said. “No matter how you look at it, agriculture is our backbone.”

 

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