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Checking Irrigation Access When You Are Buying Land or a Home

Checking Irrigation Access During the Due Diligence Timeframe with the Irrigation Company and Title Company

We will review a parcel of land today in Middleton, ID, that we have in escrow. We’re looking to locate the head gate on the irrigation canal. We need to get the irrigation water down to the parcel of land. We found that the parcel of land had 1.9 acres of irrigation rights when we checked with the irrigation company; however, after checking with the title company, we determined there is no legal access to get the irrigation down to the lot.

Determine if the Land Touches Neighboring Properties So We Can Contact Them About an Irrigation Access Easement

Once we’re at the property, we can locate the head gate and see where it

comes off the main canal to see what neighboring parcels we will need to get access from. Then we can work up a legal document through an attorney we already contacted who specializes in irrigation rights. The document would allow us access, essentially an easement, across the neighbor’s property to get the irrigation down to the property we currently have in escrow.

Locating the Irrigation Head Gate at the Main Canal

We want to get to the top and walk out to a canal. If you’re watching the video, you can see what I am talking about. You can see a canal behind us, the canal’s very large. We will walk down the canal about 500 yards. 

So we only had to walk probably 500 yards or so and found the head gate. What we’re looking at is the main canal. Again, if you’re watching the video, you’ll see what I’m talking about, but it flows in this direction. The gate we see at the top has concrete where the water flows, which controls all the water underneath the road. The road is used to maintain the canal, which runs miles and miles.

How an Irrigation Company Can Locate the Head Gate

Looking at the gate, you’ll see it has a number. It has 120 on one side and 12 on the other side. The irrigation company can use those numbers to know where the gate is located, and when you call the irrigation company, they’d be able to reference those.

Where Does the Water Go and How is it Controlled?

What I want to review with you next is where the water goes and how they control it. The canal is a concrete basin with gate valves to control the water and where it flows to the different properties. So it’s a big old basin, and on one end, it has a 12-inch pipe about six or seven feet down from the top of the basin. The pipe goes on top of the ground and is not buried. This is someone else’s property, so we have to get that easement we were talking about to get irrigation water down to our parcel.

Determine if You Need a Pump or if the Irrigation Water Will be Able to Gravity Flow

Part of the problem will be getting this thing to gravity flow down to the lot we have in escrow without having to pump it. So we’ll have to look at the elevation and how far it will have to flow.

How to Get an Irrigation Access Agreement and How Much Does it Cost?

So a few things are going on. First, we have to get ahold of the attorney we were talking about who can write up that access agreement for the irrigation. The costs for that will probably be $1000 or so, but we need to get that done before we close escrow to ensure we have our water rights intact and the access we need to get them. So that’s important. We have interesting things ahead to get that figured out. We’ll then have to contact the neighboring land owner next and ask, “Hey. Would you agree to allow us to get our water across your property,” and ensure that will be okay with them.

Wrapping Up

I hope that was helpful, and you were able to learn about irrigation access easements, how you can get water to your property, and some considerations to look for. If you would like more information on how we can help you buy or sell land or buy or sell a home, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks for tuning in, and have a great rest of your day.

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