The original purpose for the construction of the Settlers canal was to bring irrigation to the prairie and sage brush lands on the south side of the Boise River to entice settlers into the area. The Settlers canal begins on the south side of the Boise River at a point on the head of Government Hay Reservation now known as Ann Morrison Park.
The original locators of the canal and water right were Christian R. Purdum, Adolphus Purdum, and William H. Smith. They made their filing on October 17, 1884, and claimed 50,000 inches of water. By 1891 water flowed through the canal.
Work on the canal was started and stopped between the years of 1884 and 1904 as the boundaries expanded and the name changed from The Settlers Ditch Company to the Lemp Canal to Settlers Canal Company, Ltd. and finally Settlers Irrigation District in 1904. There are now 13,187 acres included in the District.
The canal now measures approximately 20 miles in length with 95 miles of laterals and it conveys approximately 9,322.15 miner's inches of water. Water deliveries for the main canal begin at North Mitchell Street and end approximately one half mile west of Black Cat Road dumping into the Five Mile Drain. Water deliveries for the south side of the Settlers' Canal begin west of Five Mile Road and south of Ustick Road eventually dumping into a Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District drain below Black Cat Road.