Water starts flowing through canals in the Grand Valley

PALISADE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Farmers are preparing to start the new season.

When the floodgates open, irrigation ditches and canals will be filled with fresh water across the Grand Valley. Some spots already have water and some are still waiting.

"Be ready for water,” said Dan Crabtree, the superintendent for the Palisade Irrigation District.

The Palisade Irrigation District is busy flushing, filling and flooding more than 70 miles of underground pipes.

“There’s a lot of work involved for folk's,” said Crabtree.

Serving and maintaining pipes from Palisade to 29 Road, they have around 8,000 customers.

The water comes from the Roller Dam in De Beque Canyon, then flows into individual canals and irrigation ditches before heading to your backyard.

"There’s a little pipe that comes off the Price ditch and feeds a concrete box, and then I will be opening these up and it will be putting water into the lateral, and fill the pipe so that the people can use it down below,” said Crabtree.

For farmers waiting for that water, it can’t come soon enough.

"There’s not much we can do in the meantime,” said Bo Felton, a winemaker for Colterris Winery.

They say farming comes to a standstill in the winter but as soon as the canals fill it drives them toward harvest,

"Our orchards have both peaches and cherries as well as irrigation for our grapevines,” said Felton.

Most of the irrigation water should be ready to go by the end of the week for Palisade and Grand Junction. Water in Fruita should be flowing by April 16.

The Palisade Irrigation District is asking everyone to be ready so residents can avoid flooding their homes.

"Pumps ready to go, their valves in good operating condition, make sure there aren’t any cracks or breaks in the pipeline,” said Crabtree.

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