The arrangement between the Lundgren Limited Family Partnership and the Chewuch Canal Company (CCC) goes back to 1910. The owners of what is now the Lundgrens’ property, along with adjacent property owners, constructed a ditch in 1908 to divert water from the Chewuch River for irrigation. In 1910, the ditch was enlarged to deliver water to downstream properties, according to CCC president Roger Rowatt.
The parties signed an agreement to provide water for these downstream farms, with the owners of Lundgren’s property paying the canal company for the maintenance costs for the first 1/2 mile, which were $3 per year in 1910. Since then, the ditch has expanded to serve 183 shareholders along a 13 1/2-mile canal, which runs from Boulder Creek on the East Chewuch Road to the North Cascades Smokejumper Base on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road.
That agreement has remained in force for more than a century. While the price for the CCC’s shareholders has gone up — to $4 per share last year — the annual maintenance fee paid by the Lundgrens has stayed at a flat $3, Rowatt said.
If the Lundgrens paid by the share for their water use, Rowatt estimated it would cost almost $2,800 at current rates.