Small Water Project Program
The Small Water Project Program (SWPP) is administered by the Wyoming Water Development Commission and aims to encourage the improved condition and function of watersheds. Working in partnership with land management agencies and sponsoring entities, the SWPP provides grant funding assistance for projects ranging from construction and rehabilitation of small reservoirs, to solar platforms, irrigation works, windmills, and wetland developments, among others. Continue reading to see two examples SWPP projects that have been completed.
To learn more about SWPP grants or to apply for fundring, contact Teton Conservation District’s Land Resources Specialist Robb Sgroi by calling (307) 733-2110 or emailing robb [at] tetonconservation.org. You can also learn more about the Wyoming Water Development Commission and SWPP here.
Trail Creek Water Control Structure Replacement
In Fall 2018, agricultural producers in the Trail Creek drainage completed a project focused on replacing a deteriorating water diversion structure that supplies irrigation water for three agricultural producers: Chapman Ranch, Huidekoper Ranch, and Trail Creek Ranch. This project replaced the failing diversion structure and provides better control of diverted water, reducing the amount of excess water being drawn from Trail Creek and thereby increasing the amount of water that is left to flow into Fish Creek and the Snake River. The project also included fish passage structures, which could improve passage at certain flows. Projects like this benefit community members as well as the watershed and ecosystem.
Wyoming State Land Irrigation Improvements Project
This project’s intent was to increase the efficiency of irrigation on lands owned by the State of Wyoming, and leased by the Snake River Ranch LLC. The project changed infrastructure by adding headwalls with slide gates to allow better control of water, including the ability to fully shut off flows. This subsequently will improve production of forage, and allow for better utilization of irrigated areas by cattle. Additionally, this project aimed to decrease the turbidity of water running into Fish Creek, thus improving the quality of habitat available for local species like cutthroat trout. This project entailed the renovation of two key irrigation structures and the addition of five small headgates on lateral ditches.