11 Dec League Coordinates 2021 Primer with Key Columbia Basin Project Legislators
In October, the League coordinated a virtual meeting with Columbia Basin Project legislators to brief them on 2021 legislative priorities. Each legislator from every legislative district touched by the Project received invitations—9th, 12th, 13th, and 16th. Those in attendance were:
• 9th District: Senator Mark Schoesler and Representative Mary Dye
• 12th District: Representatives Mike Steele and Keith Goehner
• 13th District: Senator Judy Warnick, Representatives Tom Dent and Alex Ybarra
Senator Warnick opened the meeting with a recollection of the value of the Project, not only to the citizens of each of their districts, but also to the state.
The Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program—replacing 70,000 acres of deep well irrigation with surface irrigation—can feel like a long slog, but steady progress is happening. Legislators received a status update and an East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID) slide show of the progress on distribution system EL 47.5 was shared.
To check out the slideshow, click here.
EL 47.5 was tested this fall, and will deliver water to 8,500 acres next spring.
Among other items, the lawmakers discussed state and federal funding sources and opportunities, the budget for Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River, the state’s budget shortfall going into the session, and the role and responsibility CBP legislators have in the overall voice of the Columbia Basin Project.