Encroachments are things like buildings, parking areas, fences, landscaping and other structures or activities in our easement areas. Idaho law requires a landowner to obtain written permission before encroaching on the Farmer’s Union canal or right-of-way.
We cannot allow construction or other activities in the easement if they will interfere with our access, operation, maintenance and repair activities.
Idaho law provides no person or entity shall cause or permit any encroachments onto the right-of-way including public or private roads, utilities, fences, gates, pipelines, structures, or other construction or placement of objects, without the written permission of the owner of the right-of-way. (Idaho Code 42-1102; 42-1209). We appreciate the cooperation of landowners in keeping our rights-of-way free and clear from fences, gates, and other obstructions that prevent us from performing routine maintenance or responding to emergencies.
You must contact us if you plan any activity within or affecting any of the canals, laterals or easements prior to starting.
We will review your project and determine if what you want to do will interfere with our access, operation, maintenance and repair activities. If it does, we may be able to offer suggestions on how your project can go forward without interfering with our use of the easement.
To deliver water to our customers we need to be able to clean, maintain and make repairs to the canal system. In order to be able to do this we need access to our irrigation facilities through the use of easements. Idaho law gives us the legal right to use these easements through either fee title ownership, by rights-of-way or statutory easements.
Easements are strips of land along the banks of our canals and lateral ditches. They are generally located on either or both sides of the canal or ditch.
It is important to understand that easement areas are not public property. They are not open to public use. Under Idaho law, unauthorized third party use of these strips of land amounts to trespassing.
Easements give us access so we can:
• Monitor/adjust water flows
• Remove sediment and debris from the canals and ditches
• Control weed growth by mowing, spraying or burning
• Pipe, line and refurbish ditches
• Perform other maintenance activities
Easements also give us the right to deposit material on the ditch banks that has been removed during cleaning and maintenance. As well as the right to take out obstructions to the easement and to prohibit activities which unreasonably interfere with maintenance activities.
If your land is crossed by a canal or lateral, you may use the easement area so long as it does not interfere with our access, operation, maintenance and repair activities.
Under State of Idaho Noxious Weed Law (Idaho Code 22-2407), it is the responsibility of all property owners to control noxious weeds on their property. The Canal Company controls weeds on property owned by the company and in easements. However, property owners also need to do their part. In some cases, your property may go to the center line of a ditch or canal, and you may be responsible for some of the weed control.
Why does the District/Canal Company cut down some of the trees and brush along the canals, ditches or drains?
Although the trees and brush along a canal, ditch or drain may be aesthetically pleasing, they can present a problem for the irrigation districts/canal companies. Trees and brush reduce the efficiency of the canal, and a larger percentage of water conveyed in the canal is “lost” due to the vegetation.
By controlling, but not eliminating, vegetation along the canals or drains, more water is available to irrigate the land. When trees or brush fall into a canal, ditch or drain, the blockage can cause flooding or an increase in groundwater. Removing certain vegetation in advance helps reduce the cost and danger of those events.
Idaho Water Users Association http://iwua.org/
Idaho Department of Water Resources http://www.idwridaho.gov/
Treasure Valley Water Users Association http://www.treasurevalleywaterusers.com/
Title 43 – Idaho Statutes pertaining to Irrigation District
Title 42 – Idaho Statutes pertaining to Irrigation and Drainage – Water Rights and Reclamation
What’s Coming Next?
The City of Boise has terminated the water re-use contract with Farmer’s Union Ditch Co.