The Orchard Mesa siphon conveys water from the Government Highline Canal to the start of the Orchard Mesa Power Canal (3.5 miles long).The district has an affirmed water right for 450 cfs to be used for irrigation and powering the Orchard Mesa Pumping Plant. Of the entitled 450 cfs, 290 cfs is available for running the hydraulic lift pumps, which lift approximately 90 cfs to Canal #1 (41-ft lift), and approximately 70 cfs to Canal #2 (130-ft lift).
These main canals convey water through turnouts to the fields and laterals, which are owned by private landowners. The district’s responsibility ends at the turnouts or headgates along the main canals, which can service areas from less than 1 acre to over 100 acres. Most of the distribution system is open channel, but as more housing developments have been built some laterals were converted to pipelines.
The Orchard Mesa Irrigation District (OMID) was organized in 1904 and became part of the Federal Grand valley Project in 1922. OMID’s water is diverted from the Colorado River, its original steel wicket diversion dam in DeBeque Canyon, a nine-mile power canal on the east side of the river, as well as a pumping plant at the base of East Orchard Mesa, were completed in 1910. Approximately 6,500 parcels and approximately 9,219 acres are served by the district. The two distribution canals delivering irrigation water to East Orchard Mesa were each about 15-miles long.
The Mutual Mesa Lateral Ditch was acquired by OMID over a 2-year period from 1907 to 1909. Began with a contract dated April 11, 1907 accompanied by the minutes from a 1907 Board meeting authorizing the purchase of the Mutual Mesa Ditch and the Lee Ditch. Followed by a contract dated June 8, 1909 for acquiring the ditches now known to be the Mutual Mesa Lateral.
Meet Our Board of Directors
The Orchard Mesa Irrigation District is governed by a five-member board of directors elected by the water users at the annual meeting each January. The Board meets on the first Thursday of each month.
Max Schmidt – Manager
Mel Rettig – President
Neil Jaquet – Vice President/Secretary
Roblee Talbott – Board Member
Al Ruckman – Board Member
Trent Cunningham – Board Member