Since 1964, the Columbia Basin Development League has supported the Federal Reclamation Columbia Basin Project. Over one million acres are authorized by Congress for development, and today about 65 percent of the total Project is developed. Columbia Basin Project Details
The League's current focus is on preventing economic and environmental disaster by replacing Odessa Aquifer groundwater withdrawals with Project water. The League supports the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology investigation of continued phased development of the Columbia Basin Project, known as the Odessa Subarea Special Study (OSSS). The Study focuses on project development for the purpose of replacing groundwater currently used for irrigation in the Odessa Ground Water Management Subarea with surface water. The five year study began in 2006, and now a Record of Decision on the Study’s final environmental impact statement has been signed by Reclamation’s PNW Regional Director, Lorri Lee. Implementation can begin on the preferred development alternative within the study, ultimately replacing ground water drawn from a declining aquifer with surface water delivery to 70,000 acres both north and south of I-90.
Now, securing state funding and determining local financing are among the next steps in the process of implementation. Meanwhile, and in addition, 10,000 acres will also receive surface water replacement as part of the Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage Releases program. But, a complex series of prioritized Reclamation, Ecology, and East Columbia Basin Irrigation District criteria and procedures must be followed in order to get water to a qualified landowner. This means that communications and outreach to elected officials, land owners, and others are critical and significant undertakings within the process.
To see how the League is aiding in communications and outreach effort check out the 2012 Headlines and Highlights.
Click Here for Columbia Basin Project Map