With the adjudication of water rights in the Yakima Basin completed, it’s time to locate the water needed to fulfill those rights.
The current snowpack in the Basin is at 50 percent of normal. The 5 reservoirs are 75 percent full, so proratable water users could get 75 percent or less water than needed.
Instream flow in the lower river continues to create a thermal barrier for fish passage and survival. Is there a solution?
The only plan being considered is the floating pump project on Lake Kachess. These 200,000 acre/feet of water would come from 80 feet below the normal water surface and would only be used during drought years.
With climate change it is possible Lake Kachess would not refill every year after drought pumping. The cost of the floating pumping plant, which will remain on the lake, is estimated to be more than $252 million. Annual costs for maintenance and mitigation will be added.
It is anticipated the Roza Irrigation District would pay for the project.
The Yakima River Basin Integrated Plan does not provide the water needed.
Roll on Mighty Columbia Roll on . . . send some water to the Yakima Basin!
Charles Klarich, Zillah