Infrastructure is the foundation of a strong, competitive economy and thriving communities. The Columbia Basin Project is proof: arid desert has been transformed into some of the most productive agricultural land in the world, thousands of Washingtonians call the resulting communities their home, and the economic impact of the Project exceeds $4 billion annually.
As the owner of the Project and the holder of the Project’s water right certificate to store Project water, the federal government has an enduring role in water supply infrastructure development and management that, consistent with state water laws, includes working with local water managers on a policy level and, in partnership with them, providing available federal funding and federal cost-share opportunities in support of their efforts to secure a stable and sustainable water supply.
The League maintains the following policy positions for full development the Project’s 1,029,000 acres:
- Support gridlock-free, increased funding for the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) through Congressional appropriations
- Provide opportunities for irrigation districts to access federal loans
- Support legislation that allows the Columbia Basin Hydropower’s North Dam Hydro Project to develop under one federal program (Reclamation Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP) or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process)
- Support funding of the Bureau of Reclamation for adequate staffing to meet permit processing demands
- Support Reclamation’s investment in water infrastructure projects that will help complete the Columbia Basin Project