Facts: Columbia River MOU

Columbia River 2004 MOU
Reclamation, Dept. of Ecology, Project Irrigation Districts


  • Address unmet needs of the Columbia Basin Project
  • Help DOE's goal of meeting needs of growing communities along the
    Columbia River in a way that reduces risk to fish


Major Elements

  •    Main Stem Storage
  •    Odessa Groundwater Management Subarea Aquifer Issues
  •    Potholes Reservoir Operations
  •    Main Stem Drought Relief
  •    Municipal and Industrial Water Supply
  •    Water from Canada
  •    Near Term Water Availability

 Columbia River Basin Water Management (Development) Act 2006

  • Ecology directed to aggressively pursue development of new water supplies for both instream and out-of-stream uses
  • Ecology's Office of Columbia River (OCR) meets mandate:
    • 39 water supply development projects underway
    • 144,000 acre-feet of water supply developed
    • 630,000 acre-feet of water supply under near term development
    • Millions of acre-feet in early stages of long term development

 Alternatives to Groundwater for Odessa

  • Declining aquifers in the Odessa Subarea (pump depths exceeding 2,000 feet)  
  • Loss of irrigation water could cost the local economy:
    •  $1.6 billion a year in lost revenue
    •  Over 3600 jobs

 Four-Pronged Approach to Solving Odessa Problem

  • Supplemental Feed Route and Other Infrastructure Upgrades
  • Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage Releases
  • Coordinated Conservation Plan
  • Odessa Subarea Special Study
    • Banks Lake Re-Operation
    • Rocky Coulee Dam & Reservoir

Potholes Supplemental Feed Route

Potholes Supplemental Feed Route: Increase Conveyance Capacity

  • Completed Phase 1 of (Frenchman Hills Wasteway) with Reclamation
  • Implementing Phase 2 of Feed Route (Crab Creek)
  • When completed, will create 150,000 acre-feet of additional East Low Canal capacity.

Lake Roosevelt Storage Release

·    30,000 Acre-Feet of Water for Odessa Subarea

  • First large block of surface water for ground water replacement
  • Weber Siphon will allow delivery of 21,000 acre-feet to southern portion of Odessa Subarea

Weber Siphon

OCR and US Bureau of Reclamation secured $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009)  funding to build a second siphon at the Weber Siphon Complex. The siphon eliminates water delivery bottleneck at I-90 near Moses Lake, allowing OCR to convey water from Lake Roosevelt releases to southern portion of Odessa Subarea


Coordinated Conservation Plan

    OCR provides funding to Columbia Basin Irrigation Districts

  • Convert open conveyance systems to pipe
  • Use water savings to replace groundwater in the Odessa Subarea
    • 18,267 acre-feet of water savings 2009-2012

 Odessa Special Study Project

  • Record of Decision signed in April 2013 by Reclmation Regional Director Lorri Lee
  • Additional water supplies and expanded conveyance systems to replace groundwater for 70,000 acres of irrigated croplands 


Odessa Subarea Special Study Preferred Alternative Draft Map
   Click here to view




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