These farmers have an all-hands-on-deck mentality to maintain their crucial irrigation flumes. And they are also ready to tear them down. Charming as it is, this 100-year-old system means Lone Pine irrigators lose nearly half of their most precious resource to seepage and evaporation. Time spent plugging holes is time spent away from farms. And they pay exorbitant pumping costs to get water from the flumes to their fields.
Replacing open canals and wooden flumes with underground pressurized pipelines would mean farmers and ranchers could install high-efficiency sprinklers and drastically reduce their pumping costs. And the water saved could be used to help farms, fish or frogs.
Farmers like these can hardly wait to focus on growing more quality food products rather than patching up holes. The Irrigation Modernization Program is supporting Lone Pine Irrigation District in their modernization goals by developing a comprehensive strategy to redesign and rebuild their water supply system so their way of life can thrive into the next century.