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Newhouse Announces Water Conservation Project Funding for Central Washington Irrigation Districts

September 2, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) applauded the announcement by the Bureau of Reclamation of three Central Washington irrigation district projects that have been selected to receive federal Small Scale Water Efficiency Grants. These grants, which are part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program, aim to help water entities across the nation use water more efficiently and improve water supply reliability. Washington state recipients of these grants include the Columbia Irrigation District, East Columbia Basin Irrigation District, and the Kennewick Irrigation District.

“These grants are a major win for Central Washington. In the arid West, water is truly our most precious resource, and our irrigation district managers and operators work around-the-clock to conserve and manage our limited supply,” said Rep. Newhouse. “These grants – which are awarded as our district and many like it across the country face devastating drought conditions – will enable our local irrigation districts to make necessary improvements and continue to efficiently deliver water to our rural communities and producers.”

Three Central Washington irrigation districts received Reclamation funding for small-scale water efficiency projects:

Columbia Irrigation District: Reclamation awarded $75,000 for installing automated gates at four locations along Lateral 1 and 2, a spillway along each lateral, and several flow meters along the laterals. The automation of these laterals will reduce spillage at the end of the canal, improve water delivery consistency, and improve canal safety. This will allow the district to operate in a "just in time" mode where water is delivered where it is needed when it is needed, reducing waste and improving efficiency.

East Columbia Basin Irrigation District: Reclamation awarded $75,000 for upgrading six existing turnout gates with automated gates along the East Low Canal. Automating the gates will reduce spills and allow more accuracy on the amount of water being sent down the lateral. The increased efficiency of the East Low Canal will support the District’s ability to replace groundwater in the Odessa Subarea with surface water.

Kennewick Irrigation District: Reclamation awarded $75,000 for the consolidation of two existing pump stations with the existing, larger Kennewick Southeast Regional reservoir and pump station. The District will install 1,800 linear feet of polyvinyl chloride pipe to connect the pump stations and installing a pressure reducing valve station. This project will allow the District to better manage their water by pump stations the water flows through.

Background:

Small Scale Water Efficiency Projects are part of the WaterSMART program. For more than 100 years, Reclamation and its partners have developed sustainable water and power future for the West. This program focuses on improving water conservation and reliability while helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. Learn more about the WaterSMART program.

Under this funding opportunity, applicants can request up to $75,000 in Reclamation funding and must contribute a non-federal cost-share of at least 50% of total project costs. Learn more here.

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