2021-2023 Washington State Capital Budget: Columbia Basin Project Sees Funding

2021-2023 Washington State Capital Budget: Columbia Basin Project Sees Funding

One of three Washington state budgets (in addition to the operating and transportation budgets) legislators passed this spring was a $6 billion capital budget, which included irrigation projects supporting the Columbia Basin Project.

Funded projects included the following.  Note:  the use of “EL” followed by a number refers to a lateral off the East Low Canal. The lateral’s mile marker on the East Low Canal, south from the canal’s origin point, is used to name the lateral.

  • $16,000,000 to assist in planning, designing, engineering, development coordination, and construction of pump stations or other improvements at the EL 79.2 or associated stations serving the same area that expand the delivery systems of the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program (OGWRP), sufficient to irrigate at least 13,000 acres.
  • $400,000 to assist the Grant county conservation district in applying for support from the United States department of agriculture-natural resource conservation service to secure federal funding for surface water delivery systems on the Columbia Basin Project.
  • $150,000 for improvements at EL 85, including radial arm gates.
  • $5,000,000 for the continued development and building of the EL 22.1 OGWRP surface water irrigation system including a canal pump station, an electrical power substation, booster pump stations, and a large diameter full-sized pipeline sufficient to irrigate 16,000 acres.

Othello also received $515,000 from the infrastructure fund for a long-term project to conserve water and to find ways to increase the city’s water supply. The project is in its second phase, with the goal of using outside water, in this case from an East Columbia Basin Irrigation District Canal, to help replenish the city’s aquifer. The irrigation water will be treated and pumped into the aquifer.

The 2022-23 biennium operating budget also provided $1,000,000 for the Department of Ecology to make preparation and filing of adjudications of state water rights in the Nooksack, Lake Roosevelt, and middle tributaries watersheds. The department will not file an adjudication in water resource inventory area 1 prior to June 1, 2023.

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