House and Senate Capital Budgets Include Important Funding to Help Odessa Aquifer
OLYMPIA, Wash., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Last week it was announced that the recently released 2013-15 House and Senate Capital Budgets include approximately $32 million in capital funding (from the Columbia River Water Supply Development Account) to help the Odessa Aquifer. The $32 million included in the capital budgets is a result of efforts by key legislators (such as Rep. Judy Warnick and Sen. Mark Schoesler, etc.) and the Department of Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River working with the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association (CSRIA) and other affected groups over the past several months.
In particular, this Capital Budget funding is an important piece in the process of getting surface water to depleted areas of the Odessa Aquifer, especially just south of I-90, as it would be used to widen 13 miles of East Low Canal from I-90 south to Lind Coulee, construct two siphons and a new gate at Lind Coulee Wasteway, and also includes mitigation funds for the secondary use (water right) permit.
More importantly, the nearly $32 million (included in the House and Senate Capital Budgets) complements CSRIA’s plan in which irrigators in the Odessa Aquifer would privately fund and/or use private financing to build lateral lines from the East Low Canal to bring surface water to the Odessa Aquifer Subarea north of I-90 and also south of I-90 to Lind Coulee.
The CSRIA privately funded plan is being widely endorsed by many newspapers and decision-makers as a viable, cost-effective and realistic option to immediately begin replacing the use of groundwater from the declining Odessa Aquifer in eastern Washington. Additionally, the CSRIA plan is much less capital intensive and could be developed in a short timeframe and offers an immediate solution on how to proceed to begin effectively resolving the Odessa Aquifer depletion issue.
Following are recent editorials in several of the region’s newspapers endorsing CSRIA’s privately funded solution:
CSRIA will continue to work with various legislators in Olympia to ensure this critical capital budget funding to help the Odessa Aquifer will be included in the 2013-15 Capital Budget.
For more information, contact Darryll Olsen of CSRIA at 509-783-1623 or Email.
About CSRIA (http://www.csria.org)
The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association has become a leader in promoting water conservation and water efficiency in the Pacific Northwest. CSRIA’s membership includes row crop, vineyard, orchard and livestock operations and we irrigate about 250,000 acres of prime agricultural lands in Washington State and primarily consist of operations along the Columbia-Snake River system, relying almost exclusively on private investment to build and operate highly efficient, state-of-the-art river pump stations and water distribution systems. Additionally, many municipalities and port districts are members of CSRIA. In economic terms, CSRIA members annually generate about $475-600 million in state and local income by purchasing goods and services from numerous economic sectors, ranging from paper products and food packaging to financial, legal and marketing services.
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