09 Jun League Submits FY22 Appropriations Requests
Working with multiple partners to identify priorities and strategies for Columbia Basin Project (CBP) and Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program (OGWRP) federal appropriations requests, the League completed the process of submitting requests to key members of the Washington Congressional delegation in May.
Direct appropriations for the CBP and OGWRP are one of multiple possible funding mechanisms being pursued this year, as interest in infrastructure and the potential return of what used to be considered earmarks are debated in Congress. A CBP account exists in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s budget, although there is no specific line item for OGWRP.
The League’s process started with meetings with Columbia Basin Project irrigation districts to clarify priority projects ready to be addressed during fiscal year 2022. There are over $443 million worth of potential water infrastructure projects in need of federal funding, but not all are ready to be addressed next year. The League also worked to confirm priorities with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Ephrata Field Office, Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River, and League board members representing various stakeholder interests. Among factors contributing to prioritization included funding sources for other projects also in play.
A departure from smaller requests in pasts years, the FY22 requests include both overall CBP and OGWRP priorities in need of federal funding:
- $7 million: Upgrade SCADA, the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System. Critical to Columbia Basin Project operations, SCADA is used for monitoring the irrigation system and controlling automated components of Columbia Basin Project Infrastructure. Certain components and technology are outdated and need updating to both ensure compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act requirements and maintain smooth operations associated with adjusting flow rates in canals, responding to hydropower plant and pump outages, monitoring canal levels, and managing three project reservoirs.
- $3.8 million: Replace Trail Lake Project failing concrete infrastructure in Main Canal. By replacing failing infrastructure, this effort reduces likelihood of damage or failure to the overall canal system, improves reliability, and reduces operation and maintenance costs.
- $31 million for OGWRP—construction of EL 79.2 Delivery System
- $70 million for OGWRP—construction of EL 22.1 Delivery System
- $1.6 million for OGWRP—East Low Canal Headgate Automation to adjust for fluctuations resulting from operation of new pump plant diversions. The automated gates will create consistent lateral flows regardless of canal fluctuations, reducing waste and labor, and result in water conservation and safe operations.
- $23 million for OGWRP—replace 10 county road bridges across East Low Canal widened for OGWRP. Although widening of the canal to accommodate additional OGWRP water is complete, it cannot function to its new capacity until the bottleneck of existing bridge crossings are expanded to the new width.