The Trustees Meeting minutes of June 15, 1901 indicate the Trustees were much concerned with establishing legal right of way of sufficient width to service the canal. Minutes record that Mr. Tom Nelson was paid $50.00 “in consideration that Nelson give a deed of a right-of-way 10 feet on the right side of center and 22 feet on the left side”.
Through Special Stockholders Meetings held November 18, 1905, December 16, 1905 and January 6, 1906 it was decided that the President and Secretary were authorized to sign an agreement with the United States to a withdrawal of water from the headgate on the Natchez River in the amount of 40 cfs from April 1st through September 1st, 29 cfs to October 1st and 20 cfs to November 1st.
In 1910 piping for all of the Company’s canal system cost $85,000 for wood stave pipe and $120,000 for concrete pipe.
In 1915 the Company took over ownership of the Lince Lateral which included a wasteway into Wide Hollow Creek at the end of the Lateral.
By 1917 the main canal structure was experiencing breaks. Reinforced concrete was utilized for repairs. The cost of $1.15 per lineal foot for the initial 1.5 miles where most breaks occurred, was covered by a special assessment of $36.00 per share. When the contractor was dismissed for unsatisfactory work, day labor was used to complete the work. There were still issues of seepage along 7,000 feet of the canal that was causing damage to adjacent properties. In 1919, another special assessment of $75.00 per share was approved to finance the lining of this section of the canal with vitrified salt-glazed clay tile 9 feet in semi-circumference. The project was completed by May 1920. In 1921, another 240 feet of canal was lined and in 1929 3,200 feet of canal downstream from the headgate of Cowiche Creek to the intersection of the State Hiway (now Powerhouse Road) was also lined at a cost of $2.43 per foot. In 1930, in agreement with the City of Yakima, relative to a street improvement project they were doing in the area of Park Ave, Summitview Ave and Yakima Ave, another 474 feet was lined with reinforced concrete at a rate of $2.50 per lineal foot.
In 1922 the siphon under Cowiche Creek had been completed. In 1934 the Secretary and President were authorized by the Board of Trustees to borrow $5,000 to pay the Company’s share of the cost of a dam across the Naches River. Articles of Re-Incorporation were drafted to change the name of the Company to “The Naches and Cowiche Ditch Company”.
In 1924, permission was granted by the State of Washington for the permanent location of the Company to be in the vicinity of Painted Rocks (present location) The Company was granted a Quit Claim Deed from Lloyd and Sophia Garretson for a strip of land 30 feet wide at no cost to the Company. Also in 1924 shares began being recorded in decimals instead of fractions previously used.
In 1935 a fish screen was installed at the Naches River intake by the State Fisheries Department at a cost of $103.00. “The Naches & Cowiche Ditch Company” became “The Naches & Cowiche Canal Company” by resolution and recording of Articles of Amendment in 1936 that included “…the existence of this Corporation shall be perpetual”.
In 1950s there were several incidents of collapsed concrete ditch coverings placed by other people. Legal suits were brought against the Company, which was exonerated but at a defense cost of just under $500. Reinforced concrete was still the lining of choice. By 1955 the cost was $7.35 per lineal foot. In 1957, irrigation water stock was offered at $800 per share.
In 1959 a landslide caused major damage to the section of the Company’s canal between Fechter Road and River Road. It was caused by an overflow of the Yakima Valley Canal Company canal. The Company brought legal suit against Yakima Valley Canal Company and $5,900 of permanent improvements were made to the damaged section.
In 1961 rehabilitation of the diversion dam on the Naches River was necessary, the cost of which would be shared equally with City of Yakima. Total cost of the job was $25,142. By 1968, the cost of reinforced concrete lining was at $20.90 per lineal foot and in 1969 jumped to $22.00 per lineal foot. Reinforced concrete was used as the primary fix until mid 1990’s. With industry advancements, we began using HDPE and Hand Core pipe for repairs and replacement of failing canal sections in 2000’s. Where concrete eventually deteriorates, these new materials are permanent structure.
The Company purchased its present headquarters location on West Powerhouse Road in 2005 and constructed a shop and office in 2019. Also in 2019 a merger was completed with Old Union and New Schanno lines. 2020 saw the completion of the long running legal proceeding that changed the calculation of share determinations. The term “share” became obsolete and was replaced with “unit”. Prior to the completion of State v Acquavella, one irrigation water unit equaled 10 acres. Now one unit is calculated to equal 5.4 acres. In 2021 “Naches & Cowiche Canal Company” became “Naches Cowiche Canal Association” with the filing of Amended Articles of Incorporation. The dam in the Naches River is being taken out, replaced with an alternative diversion system that will provide more efficient access for fish and recreational use.
Today Naches Cowiche Canal Association employs a 6-member Maintenance Team to provide efficient irrigation water delivery to our members.