The League's current focus is on preventing economic and environmental disaster by replacing Odessa Aquifer groundwater withdrawals with Project water. The League supports the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology investigation of continued phased development of the Columbia Basin Project, known as the Odessa Subarea Special Study (OSSS). The Study focuses on project development for the purpose of replacing groundwater currently used for irrigation in the Odessa Ground Water Management Subarea with surface water. The five year study began in 2006, and a Record of Decision on the Study’s final environmental impact statement has been signed by Reclamation’s Pacific North West Regional Director, Lorri Lee. Implementation is underway on the preferred development alternative within the study, ultimately replacing ground water drawn from a declining aquifer with surface water delivery to 70,000 acres both north and south of I-90.
Now, funding and financing are among the next steps in the process of implementation. Meanwhile, and in addition, 10,000 acres will also receive surface water replacement as part of the Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage Releases program. But, a complex series of prioritized Reclamation, Ecology, and East Columbia Basin Irrigation District criteria and procedures must be followed in order to get water to a qualified landowner. This means that communications and outreach to elected officials, land owners, and others are critical and significant undertakings within the process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OGWRP
What makes you eligible for replacement groundwater?
The primary criteria to be eligible to receive groundwater replacement from the CBP under the preferred alternative are the following:
-Landowner holds a qualified State-issued ground water permit or certificate for the land lying within the Odessa Subarea prior to April 2, 2013.
-Land must lie within the current CBP boundaries.
-Land must be of suitable land classification to receive CBP water.
-Landowner must be able to enter into a Contract with the District.
What does a water service contract look like?
What is the Record of Decision?
Record of Decision
Odessa Subarea Special Study Preferred Alternative (4A)
Odessa Subarea Special Study Final Environmental Impact Statement, Executive Summary
CBDL OSSS DEIS Comments
Draft Environmental Impact Statement—Odessa Subarea Special Study
Columbia River MOU Facts