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UW Extension Bulletin Details Wyoming Irrigation Methods, Regulations

February 13, 2018

A new bulletin from University of Wyoming Extension helps answer irrigation questions new or existing landowners in Wyoming might have.

Extension educators and specialists, along with the mediation coordinator in the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, collaborated to produce the 40-page “Wyoming Small Acreage Irrigation,” B-1306.

Extension educators often field questions from small-acreage landowners who are new to Wyoming and Wyoming water law, or who want help in choosing appropriate irrigation systems for their property, extension educator Caleb Carter says.

“This guide combines all this information into one place, helping answer their questions, while answering others they may not know to ask,” he says.

The guide is divided into four sections.

-- “Can I Irrigate?” explains how to determine if a property has a water right, how much water the irrigator is entitled to, how water rights may work within a subdivision (and different scenarios of how landowners coordinate and share water use to meet everyone’s needs) and a brief description of Wyoming water law.

-- “How can I irrigate?” discusses various irrigation methods used across the state, their pluses and negatives, and which irrigation systems might best fit certain situations.

Small-acreage landowners have many options to choose from to irrigate their properties, Carter says.

“This guide covers benefits and drawbacks to each method, helping landowners make an informed decision,” he says.

-- “Should I irrigate?” presents when to irrigate and how much water to apply.  Several examples show how to determine the correct amount of water for a crop, how much to order (such as from an irrigation district) and how long to apply it.

-- “Irrigation Conflicts in Your Neighborhood” gives points to consider if a landowner finds himself or herself in a water conflict.

Lucy Pauley, mediation coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, says her office receives calls and emails every spring from residents seeking help with water disputes in subdivisions across Wyoming.

“I'm excited to have this resource to share with them and help answer their questions about everything from water rights to disagreements about irrigation methods and everything in between," Pauley says.

The guide is available at UW Extension and select conservation district and irrigation district offices across Wyoming. The publication also is available for free viewing or download by going to, clicking the “Find a Publication” link and entering the title or number into the search field. The bulletin is in PDF, HTML or ePub formats.

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