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Verde users keep an eye toward conservation
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Sunday, 20 May 2012 00:00

Water is life, and the Verde Valley owes much of what it is today to those settlers who took the Verde River and made it do their bidding.

Verde Ditch employee Vern Hilbers explains how concrete blocks installed along the banks of the irrigation canal keep the ditch narrow and deep thus mitigating water loss to evaporation Thursday, May 9. The ditch improvements are a response to the town of Camp Verde’s efforts to encourage water conservation.With water, crops could grow, crops that helped feed everyone from the soldiers to the miners to the ranchers who shaped the valley into what it is today.

One of those early irrigation efforts was the creation of the now 18-mile-long Verde Ditch, portions of which date back to the 1860s and ’70s.

“Back then they dug it out with horses and mules,” said Vernon Hilbers, one of the ditch’s governing commissioners.

Today, workers use equipment like backhoes to maintain the ditch. The horses aren’t complaining.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 16, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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