Office - 208-459-4141
Fax - 208-459-3428
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BCID History



The Lands in the Payette Division are located in the area two miles west of Star, Idaho, between the Boise and Payette Rivers and extending west to the Snake River.  This area is divided into the first and second units.


The First (Notus) unit was completed in 1921 and is comprised of 6,881 acres.  Water is obtained from drains south of the Boise River near Caldwell, from this point the water is carried in the Notus Canal to lands located on the north side of the Boise River near Notus.  The First (Notus) Unit also has 3,280 acre-feet of storage space in Lake Lowell.


Lands in the Second Unit are served by the Black Canyon Main Canal diverted from the Payette River at Black Canyon Dam.  The gravity area of the second unit was completed in 1940 and is comprised of 28,000 acres.  The Pump area, comprised of 25,200 acres, was completed in 1949, and is served by the 90-foot lift “C” Line Pumping Plant located on the Main Canal about 20 miles below the point of diversion.


Black Canyon Irrigation District serves irrigation water supply to approximate 6,900 acres in the First Unit and 53,200 acres to the Second Unit; the Black Canyon Main Canal also supplies irrigation water to approximately 5,100 acres for the Emmett Irrigation District patrons.


BLACK CANYON DAM:  is located five miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho, on the Payette River.  The dam is a diversion type concrete structure, with a structural height of 183 feet.


CASCADE DAM:  is located near the town of Cascade, Idaho on the North Fork of the Payette River.  The dam is an earth and rock filled structure with active capacity of 653,000 acre-feet.  Black Canyon’s Irrigation District has 238,663 acre-feet of space in the Cascade Reservoir.


HISTORY:  Construction began on the First unit (Notus) canal in 1919.  The completion of the First Unit distribution system was in 1921.  Responsibility for operation and maintenance of the irrigation facilities were assumed by the Black Canyon Irrigation District on February 1, 1922.


The next development was construction of Black Canyon Dam and Power plant, completed in 1924.  Deadwood Dam was completed in 1931 and Cascade Dam in 1948.  Construction of these projects was performed by the Bureau of Reclamation.  Work on the Black Canyon Main Canal was started in 1936 and was followed by completion of the distribution system for the gravity area of the second unit in 1940.  The C-Line Pumping Plant and the distribution system for the pump area of the second unit were completed by 1949.  Following the construction of the Second Unit distribution system, the facilities were operated by the Bureau until January 1, 1955, when the responsibility was transferred to the Black Canyon Irrigation District.  By this transfer the District assumed operating responsibility for all facilities of the Payette Division excepting the Reserved Works, the responsibility for which was retained by the Bureau.  The Reserved Works includes Black Canyon Dam and Power plant, Cascade Dam and Reservoir and Deadwood Dam and Reservoir.


WATER USER’S ORGANIZATION:  The operating organization for the Payette Division is the Black Canyon Irrigation District with headquarters at Notus, Idaho.  The District comprises an area of approximately 60,100 acres of which 6,900 acres are in the first unit, the balance of 53,200 acres being in the second unit.


The District entered into a contract with the United States on January 2, 1918, for the construction of the first unit.  On October 3, 1927, the district entered into contract for construction of the second unit.  There were a number of amendments and supplements to these contracts all of which were superseded and taken place of by the Amendatory Contract of September 2, 1954.


Black Canyon Irrigation is divided into five divisions and has a total of five elected Directors.  Each Director’s term is three years in duration which is staggered between the divisions.  Elections if held are on the First Tuesday of November in each year.  To serve as a Director, the person must be qualified and must be a resident in the division of which he/she is running.


WATER SUPPLY:   The water supply for the First Unit is obtained largely from waste water recaptured from two drains the Elija and Wilson.  The water supply for the Second Unit is water diverted from the Payette River natural flow and from stored water from Cascade Reservoir.


WASTEWATER:  Wastewater within the boundaries of the District belongs to the Black Canyon Irrigation District and can only be applied to assessed acres within the boundaries of the District.


GROUNDWATER (Irrigation Wells and Waste Water):  Lands that have ground water rights and Black Canyon Irrigation District water rights will not be entitled to excess water and will not be entitled to transfer water to those lands.  These accounts stand alone and will not be permitted to combine with any other accounts since they have claimed ground water rights.


ASSESSMENTS:  Bills are sent twice a year in the Spring (February) and in the Fall (September – October) for both Units for the calendar year.


WATER ORDERS:  The District is on a card system.  You need to fill out cards to order water on and another to turn water off.  There is a 24 hour advance notice to order water on or off.  (Note: Cards must be placed into pickup boxes prior to 2:00pm) Check with the office to see who your ditchrider is.  Contact the Ditchrider for the placement of the water card.


ALLOTMENT:  Water allotment will be set by the Board of Directors every year.


RRA FORMS (Second Unit Only):  The District is a federal project and must comply with the Acreage Limitation Rules and Regulations (43CFR part 426).  All landholders (direct or indirect landowners or lessees), who hold (direct or indirectly own or lease) nonexempt land (irrigable or irrigation land that is subject to the acreage limitation provisions) within Bureau of Reclamation projects must annually file RRA forms as a condition for the receipt of irrigation water from a Reclamation facility.  This requirement applies to individuals, married couples and their dependents, legal entities (partnerships, corporation, trusts, estates, joint tenancies-in- common, etc.) religious or charitable organizations, and public entities.


If you purchase land in the Black Canyon Irrigation District, contact the office immediately to see if the Acreage Limitation Rules & Regulation pertains to you.




FENCE POLICY:  NO exterior boundary line fences or gates will be built across Irrigation District Easements or ditch rider access roads, canals, lateral, or drains.  NO fences, including interior fences shall be built that will interfere with weed spraying or canal, lateral or drain maintenance or operations.  (Contact the office for detailed fence policy.)


R.O.W (Right-of-Way):  Right of ways varies from each canal and lateral system.  Contact the District for width in your particular area or system.  NO sprinkling of ditchrider access roads will be allowed.


PUMPS:  ALL pumps must be installed below the weir, and in such a manner so as not to back water into Black Canyon Irrigation District system.  An overflow shall be installed capable of handling the entire ordered flow and such flows shall not be allowed to return back into the District laterals or canals.  The District assumes “NO” responsibility on pumps and motors due to any cause.


COOPERATIVE PIPING:  Any pipeline installed on District laterals or canals will be scheduled at the convenience of the District.  A written agreement must be signed with the estimated cost, before work is to start.  Along with a pipeline easement all material are to be furnished by the landowner and shall be on the job site prior to start of construction.


PIPELINES:  Any privately owned pipelines, crossing District’s laterals are to be a minimum of 36” under the bottom of the lateral and/or access road.  Such pipeline shall be installed, in such a manner as not interfere with the maintenance easement of the District.  Pipe is to be of a minimum of 100 lbs. PSI PIP.


See Article XV Resolution adopted 11-10-01 with amendments, to temporary and permanent water right transfer.


TO MAINTAIN THE RIGHT AND DETAILED INFORMATION ON WATER RIGHT TRANFERS:  The privilege to use the Black Canyon Irrigation District’s water is the responsibility of the landowner.  Black Canyon Irrigation District water must be applied to lands that have the right to said water.  Temporary annual transfers may be made at the District office.  Permanent transfers of district water may be made to other lands with in the Black Canyon Irrigation District.  Both of these transfers must take place at the District office and require approval.  If you have any questions concerning the transfer of District water, inquire at the District office.  The right to use District water is limited to lands within the District to which the right to apply District water exists.






Q.      Can I transfer my water right for the year?

A.      Yes, with Board approval.


Q.      I don’t want to pay my assessment anymore, I can’t water.  Can I sell my         water right to someone who has expanded acres?

A.      Yes, with Board approval.


Q.      Can I transfer my water right to lands out of bounds of the District?

A.      NO.


A temporary of permanent transfer of a water right means, that the land you are transferring from must remain dry from the year (temporary) and permanent is forever dry till a water right is transferred back to the land.


Q.      Is there a cost for transfer?

A.      Yes, $200.00 per transfer application.


Q.      How can I tell if my property is in the bounds of the District?

A.      By looking at the project boundary map in the District office.