Press Releases

Odessa Groundwater Replacement Under Construction
Jun 26, 2015


For More Information:

Amanda Brack, Communications Coordinator



The largest federal reclamation project in the United States is gaining momentum.

After contracts were issued in January to construct two siphons in Lind Coulee, the expansion of the East Low Canal portion of the Columbia Basin Project continues to advance.  The East Low Canal delivers water to landowners in the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and is the source of water for the Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program.

This expansion makes ground water delivery possible to land east of the entire length of the canal. The first 13 miles of added capacity, starting at the Weber Coulee siphon which crosses I-90, to the Lind Coulee siphons is completed after 800,000 cubic yards of material was removed this winter.  Plans are for another 550,000 cubic yards of material to be removed in 2016.

The Lind Coulee siphons are the largest single project funded by a grant from the State Department of Ecology to implement ground water replacement.  

The Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program is being implemented by the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District.  The replacement program is a public-private partnership designed to address depletion of the Odessa Aquifer by replacing 87,000 acres of groundwater irrigation with Columbia River surface water. The partners, working together since 2004, include the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Washington Department of Ecology, ECBID along with the Quincy and South Districts, the Columbia Basin Development League, and landowners.

While the canal is being expanded, engineers are designing seven pump station/pipeline systems that will deliver water from the East Low Canal to eligible lands (with ground water rights that can be put into standby status) substituting Odessa Subarea groundwater with Columbia River surface water. 

Enough water is currently available as part of the overall 87,000 acre project to serve over 7,000 acres for those eligible landowners who may not be served by the planned pipeline systems.  The board of directors for the irrigation district has approved nearly 2,000 acres of water service contracts for replacement water for eligible lands with another 5,000 acres in process.  These landowners will be responsible for bringing their own pump and piping to get water from the canal.

Meetings between the irrigation district and landowners continue to guide system development that meets landowner needs at the least possible uniform cost.


Since 1964, the Columbia Basin Development League has supported the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and its future development. We protect its water rights and educate the public on the renewable resource and multiple-purpose benefits of the project.

Columbia Basin Development League  |  203 Mission Avenue, Suite 107, PO Box 745  |  Cashmere, WA 98815
phone: 509-782-9442  |  fax: 509-782-1203  |

<< Back