Construction and design progress continue on the expansion of East Low Canal and at least eight lateral systems of Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program (OGWRP). Two radial gates are planned to be installed by East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID) this fall thanks to materials supplied by the Bureau of Reclamation. And, agreements between landowners and ECBID are taking shape.

Highlights from the summer included the following:

  • An EL 79.2 Design Agreement was signed by participants earlier this year. Landowners in 79.2 contributed over $220,000 of their own funds by initially paying $20 per acre to have their lands included in design. Evaluation of pump station locations is underway, and a review of pipeline alignments, electrical service scenarios, and costs for each pipe/intake/electrical scenario is expected, soon.
  • Participating EL 22.1 landowners and eligible water rights have been reviewed to serve 16,511 acres, a location for this lateral’s pump stations has been identified, and a pipeline route has been determined. The EL 22.1 Replacement MOU was approved by the ECBID Board.
  • EL 86.4 landowners are ready to move forward with an MOU and the pattern for ECBID design. They are determining the specific parcels and acres to be served as well as water right eligibility.
  • On EL 47.5, start-up procedures are occurring, now, to fill pipelines, test pump/turnout controls and make refinements as needed.
  • Plans are in the works for ECBID and landowners on EL 40.2, EL 54, and EL 73.3 to meet.
  • The Board of Directors of the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID) has accepted a $595,000 grant agreement with the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Administration of Grants and Loans (EAGL). The first focus of the grant is on electrical planning and design review tasks including a Grant County PUD Electrical Facilities Impact Study, which will help determine the specific components and costs needed to serve the northern lateral delivery systems of ECBID: East Low (EL) 11.8, EL 22.1, and EL 40.2 Results of the study are expected by early December.

  • Determining the components and costs is necessary because developing that electrical infrastructure expansion will be crucial to operate the lateral delivery systems. The design review part of the grant refers to the review of a new design being developed by Hermiston, Ore.-based IRZ Engineering Consultants for the EL 22.1 water irrigation system. Making this new electrical infrastructure construction a reality will involve an additive amendment to the EAGL grant, this one for about $8.9 million. This electrical infrastructure investment is a key part of helping the Odessa Ground Water Program be successful, since the electrical improvement need to happen at the same rate as the improvements to pumping stations and pipelines.
  • This expansion is integrally associated with the OGWRP, since the OGWRP pumping stations and pipelines need the electrical infrastructure. New pump stations without electricity do not allow the lateral delivery systems to fully serve their purpose. All elements of the ECBID’s project are connected to making the EL 22.1 operational. The ECBID contracts with the Bureau of Reclamation and landowners to deliver irrigation water to people in Adams, Lincoln, Franklin and Grant counties.

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