Mom and Dad lift up all the siphon tubes out of the ditches, fork out all the trash
Before 7:00 in the morning, Dad calls the Uncompaghre Valley Water Users ditch rider. Our ditch rider rides for the FN Lateral. That is the canal from which we get the water that goes to our place.
Our headgate has its own number and everything. And our farm, just like every farm within the Uncompaghre Valley Water Users area, has its own share of water. This water was decided way back in 1902 — every farm gets its number of shares forever and ever and ever. And that farmer (owner of the farm) must pay for the shares…they are not a freebie. Just so you know, Mom and Dad say the cost of the water for each farm is more than the taxes on each farm. Water is an expensive part of farming.
Once at the headgate he lifts up the dam stopping the water from going into our farm.
After Dad talks to the ditch rider, he heads up to the headgate, opens the dam the amount the ditch rider says he can have (yes, sometimes you don’t get the 100% you pay for, sometimes you only get a percentage—it all depends on the snowmelt.)
The amount of water Dad can have, leaves the canal and heads onto the place—at that point Mom and Dad scoop trash out the ditches, so the trash cleaners don’t get over-whelmed.
Then they move to the first field they are starting the water on.
This goes on from the first day in April when the headgate is first opened until the last day in September when Dad decides the crops are finished taking in water.
Twice or more times a day…
Mom and Dad go out, check the trash,
check the furrows to make sure they are not trashed up,
and move the water to the next furrows on and on and on.
Step Three will tell you more. In detail. I think.