The Pioneer Irrigation
District is operated by a staff of water delivery professionals under
the guidance and supervision of a three-member Board of Directors. Board
of Directors meetings are scheduled to be held on the 7th of each month
at the District office at 3804 S. Lake Ave. in Caldwell, Idaho.
Directors are elected
to their positions by landowners in the District. The election is held
on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. All precincts
vote at the District office at 3804 S. Lake Avenue in Caldwell.
Pressurized Subdivisions - Who to call when you have a problem?
Many of the subdivisions that have pressurized sprinklers are not maintained by Pioneer even though they may technically be within the District boundaries. The cities of Nampa and Caldwell each have their own municipal irrigation districts that handle many of these subdivisions.
What that means is that while Pioneer might actually provide the water to the pump station that pressurizes the water, the city who has annexed that subdivision handles everything from the pump station into the subdivision. They also bill each lot.
So, when you have a problem such as no water or too much water and you live in a pressurized subdivision, please the check the list at the link below and contact the appropriate city. If your subdivision isn't on the list, you are welcome to call Pioneer's office and we'll be happy to help figure out who you need to contact. The first page of the list is Caldwell with their phone number and subdivision list, and the second page is Nampa with their phone number and subdivision list. Subdivision List
the canals and ditches?
The Phyllis Canal,
Lowline Canal and Highline Canal, ditches and drains are owned and/or
operated by Pioneer Irrigation District. In addition, a strip of land
along the sides of the canal is also a part of the right-of-way established
for that canal or lateral. This strip of land is used by Pioneer to
operate and maintain the canal or lateral.
Community or delivery
ditches are normally owned by the individuals or water users associations
using the ditch and were created as a result of farm units being divided
into multiple ownership. Normally, it is the responsibility of the landowners
using these community or delivery ditches to operate and maintain them.
the water in the canals and ditches?
The water in the
canals has been appropriated from the State for private use, just like
drinking water supplied by a city. Pioneer Irrigation can assist in
determining which land has a valid water right and the designated point
of delivery for the water. The water right is held in trust by the irrigation
district for the use of the lands for which the water was designated.
Why do people
throw trash into ditches and canals?
The truth is we
really don't know. Area ditches and canals, whether Pioneer's or private,
are NOT waste receptacles. Trash thrown into ditches and canals
will flow away with the water; however most of the time, that trash
will collect downstream at a road crossing or other canal structure.
When that happens, flooding can and often does occur; causing damage
to private property.
throw trash such as lawn waste (grass, leaves, branches, etc.), garbage,
tires, paint, etc. into ditches and canals. Not only is it damaging
to the irrigation system and the private property of others, but it
is illegal (Idaho Code 18-4301).
if I don't pay the irrigation tax?
levies an irrigation tax against all lands in the District in the fall
of each year (at the end of the irrigation season). Payment of the 1st
half is due by December 20 of the year of assessment. The spring toll
is due by April 1 of the following year, and the 2nd half is due by
June 20 of the following year.
It is important
for you to understand Idaho law requires you to pay irrigation
taxes just as you are required to pay property taxes if your property has a water right. Failure to pay
may result in higher taxes for all taxpayers.
If you do not pay
your assessment, the District will file a tax lien on your property.
If assessments are not paid within three years after recording the delinquency
at the County Recorder's Office, Idaho Law 43-716 requires the Treasurer
of Pioneer Irrigation to issue to the District a tax deed to the property.
To avoid the potential loss of title to the property through tax deed
sale, the landowner must pay all unpaid liens or assessments.
The purchaser of
a tax deed at a tax deed sale holds all rights and title that the irrigation
district acquired through the assessment and delinquency proceedings.
Once the sale is made and a deed of sale is delivered to the purchaser,
any further action is between the landowner and the purchaser, not the
landowner and the irrigation district.
Why do I
have to pay my assessment if I don't get water?
The assessment you
pay each year is not only for the water itself. You are also paying
the tax on the water right that comes with the property and that
is regulated by State Code. Most of the land within the boundaries of
Pioneer Irrigation District are under contractual obligation for the
expense of the maintenance of the dams, canals and ditches. Please keep
in mind that the dams, in particular, were built not only for irrigation
purposes, but also for flood control and recreation - something everyone
benefits from. Thus the lands are held liable for the assessments.
Your property has
a water right. However, in some instances, the subdivider
has failed to provide any way for water to be delivered to an individual
property from it's delivery point. Pioneer's responsibility is to deliver
water to what is called a Delivery Point, and it is the property owner's
responsibility to get it from that Delivery Point to their property.
If you would like
to know where the point of delivery is for your property, please call
our office at the number at the bottom of the page and we can provide
that information. It is then up to you to determine how to get that
water to your property. In some cases, you may need legal help or to
work with local governmental agencies to help.
You can choose to
forfeit your water right, and if you are interested in how to do that,
along with the long term implications, please call the office.
Why did my
assessment go up from last year?
There are a number
of factors that play into the assessment amount and that question cannot
be answered with one answer for all. Pioneer
is a non-profit, government municipality and strives to work as efficiently
as possible on the funds available to limit the need to raise assessments
as much as possible. If you have questions on your
bill specifically, please call the office and have your account number
Why are there
so many canals and ditches in urban areas?
Southern Idaho has
an arid climate. Early settlers discovered that water could be diverted
from rivers and streams and applied to fields for crops that otherwise
could not be grown. Canals/ditches were constructed to convey water
from the Boise River to the fields.
Many towns and cities
in the Treasure Valley are growing and expanding into areas that were
originally irrigated crop land. Homes are built next to irrigation facilities
as a result of this expansion. The canals and ditches must remain to
convey water to lands which are entitled to its use, many of which are
located in and adjacent to urban/suburban areas.
irrigation district assessment
Under Idaho law,
the District assesses land inside its boundaries to help pay for the
operation and maintenance of the District's water storage, drainage
and distribution system. Assessments for each tract of land are based
upon the land's water rights. Idaho law specifies that the assessment
becomes a legal obligation of the land (Idaho Code 43-706) and therefore, the responsibility
of the landowner.
the Disrict cut down some of the trees and brush along the along the canals,
ditches or drains?
watering and crop irrigation
Although the trees
and brush along a canal, ditch or drain may appear to be aesthetically
pleasing, they can present a problem for Pioneer Irrigation. 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.
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.
It is the responsibility
of every property owner to insure they are being responsible with their
watering habits to prevent future restrictions. When watering your lawn,
please monitor the water to ensure you aren't overwatering. Lawns in
the Treasure Valley DO NOT NEED to be watered every day or 24 hours
If you are a crop
irrigator, please order your water on and off appropriately. If water
is not ordered off, it is wasted down drain ditches and not able to
be put to beneficial use for irrigation purposes. This adversely affects
everyone in the District.
Have a question?
E-mail us or call 459-3617.