An event yesterday celebrating a new water-delivery system at the EL 47.5 pump station, located several miles from Warden, attracted several officials, including 9th District Sen. Mark Schoesler.
“This new water-delivery system is a key part of ongoing efforts to provide needed irrigation water for agriculture without relying on the Odessa aquifer, which is dangerously low,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “I was pleased to join others in celebrating the new addition to this needed irrigation system for the region.
“As farmers in the Columbia Basin and elsewhere know, you can’t grow crops without water. The serious possibility of not having enough water to irrigate crops would not only be devastating for this part of the state, but it would cause a huge hit to Washington’s economy, which relies on agricultural exports.”
Schoesler was among several speakers at the event. Other speakers included Duaine Anderson, board president of the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District; Mark Maynard, Ephrata field office manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Tom Tebb, director of the Columbia River for the state Department of Ecology; and Derek Sandison, director of the state Department of Agriculture.
The new two-year state capital budget recently approved by the Legislature includes $21 million in funding for the Odessa groundwater replacement program. This program will help provide irrigation water for the part of the Columbia Basin that has relied on the Odessa aquifer, which is being depleted slowly but surely.
According to the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District, the new water-delivery system will reduce the depletion of the Odessa aquifer’s groundwater by up to 73 million gallons a day. Go here to learn more about the new 47.5 delivery system.
CAPTION: Sen. Mark Schoesler speaks during a windy ceremony celebrating a new water-delivery system at the EL 47.5 pump station near Warden.