How has the columbia basin reclamation project changed agriculture

What is the latest on Columbia River Basin Restoration efforts?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) began an investigation of Columbia River Basin restoration efforts in early 2017. The GAO’s final report, Columbia River Basin: Additional Federal Actions Would Benefit Restoration Efforts, was released in 2018 and recommended that EPA develop a program management plan for implementing the Act.

How much did the Columbia Basin project cost?

According to the federal Bureau of Reclamation the yearly value of the Columbia Basin Project is $630 million in irrigated crops, $950 million in power production, $20 million in flood damage prevention, and $50 million in recreation. The project itself involves costs that are difficult to determine.

What happened to the Columbia basin irrigation districts?

In the late 1970s, the three Columbia Basin irrigation districts, the Quincy, East, and South Districts, entered into an agreement with the government whereby the districts would construct and operate powerplants at several locations.

When was the reclamation project in Washington State?

The contract between Reclamation and the State of Washington was signed in early July, and on July 16, 1933, groundbreaking ceremonies took place at the site. A few days after the groundbreaking, news came to the Northwest that caused project supporters significant concern. On July 23, it was announced that the President had 10


What was the impact of the Columbia Basin Project?

In addition to storing and carrying water for irrigation, producing electricity, controlling floods , providing recreation, and regulating streamflow, the Columbia Basin Project also provides water for cities, industries, navigation, and endangered species.


What is the Columbia Basin best known for?

hydroelectric powerThe Columbia is one of the world’s greatest sources of hydroelectric power and, with its tributaries, represents a third of the potential hydropower of the United States. In addition, its mouth provides the first deepwater harbour north of San Francisco.


How did construction of dams and canals in Washington most benefit farms?

How did construction of dams and canals in Washington most benefit farms? They ensured that droughts would never happen.


What are the different types of irrigation systems used in the Columbia Basin?

Primary irrigation facilities include the Feeder Canal, Banks Lake, the Main, West, East High, and East Low canals, O’Sullivan Dam, Potholes Reservoir, and Potholes Canal. There are over 300 miles of main canals, about 2,000 miles of laterals, and 3,500 miles of drains and wasteways on the project.


How did the Columbia Basin Project Benefit Washington?

The irrigation water provided by this project greatly benefits the agricultural production of the area. North Central Washington is one of the largest and most productive tree fruit producing areas on the planet.


Is there sharks in the Columbia River?

“It’s not very often we see sharks in that area of the Columbia River, but it does not mean they are not there” ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave said. Hargrave says there are likely several contributing factors as to why the shark was in the area.


What were the negative consequences of the dams built along the Columbia River?

Other impacts damaged the salmon runs, including the construction of new dams downstream, construction of irrigation systems on tributaries, diseases at the hatcheries, overfishing and pollution.


How was the environment positively affected by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam?

Hydroelectric power plants, such as the Grand Coulee Dam, provide benefits such as renewable energy and irrigation, but also produce adverse costs to human and wildlife populations.


What are the positives about the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam?

A concrete gravity dam, Grand Coulee took eight years to build, employed thousands of men during the Great Depression and, when completed in 1942, provided the enormous electrical power necessary to make aluminum, so essential for World War II production of planes and ships.


What is the Columbia River Basin Project?

The Columbia Basin Project is an immense irrigation development in central Washington state that provides water from the Columbia River to about 671,000 acres (268,400 hectares) on the Columbia Plateau.


Which program helped Washington’s water resources by constructing dams and canals?

The so-called “gravity plan,” advocated by a group of businessmen in Spokane, involved damming the Pend Oreille River in Idaho and diverting the water to eastern Washington through some 130 miles of gravity-fed canals, tunnels, aqueducts, and reservoirs.


Who owns the dams on the Columbia River?

BC Hydro and Power Authority, a provincial crown corporation (similar to a state-owned utility), operates 31 hydroelectric power facilities, three of which lie along the Columbia River.


What is the Columbia basin project?

Columbia Basin Project. The Columbia Basin Project is a multi-purpose, federally authorized Bureau of Reclamation project located in central-eastern Washington State with diverse and direct benefit to local, state, and national economies. The largest of Reclamation’s Projects in the United States, the Columbia Basin Project generates …


How much does the Columbia Basin Project generate?

The largest of Reclamation’s Projects in the United States, the Columbia Basin Project generates over $4 billion in annual, cumulative economic activity (not including power generation).


How many acres of land have been irrigated?

Nearly 700,000 acres has been fully developed and irrigated, but over 300,000 acres await the infrastructure needed to supply a reliable source of irrigation water to expand food production and security, and to sustain and grow economic vitality.


How old is the aging infrastructure?

Originally authorized by Congress in 1933, the Project has a rich history and legacy. However, its age also means some infrastructure is more than 70 years old. Project partners and stakeholders are at work to address these threats.


What is the Columbia Basin Project?

The Columbia Basin Project (or CBP) in Central Washington, United States, is the irrigation network that the Grand Coulee Dam makes possible. It is the largest water reclamation project in the United States, supplying irrigation water to over 670,000 acres (2,700 km 2) of the 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km 2) large project area, all of which was originally intended to be supplied and is still classified as irrigable and open for the possible enlargement of the system. Water pumped from the Columbia River is carried over 331 miles (533 km) of main canals, stored in a number of reservoirs, then fed into 1,339 miles (2,155 km) of lateral irrigation canals, and out into 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of drains and wasteways. The Grand Coulee Dam, powerplant, and various other parts of the CBP are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. There are three irrigation districts (the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District, the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District, and the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District) in the project area, which operate additional local facilities.


How much is the Columbia Basin project worth?

According to the federal Bureau of Reclamation the yearly value of the Columbia Basin Project is $630 million in irrigated crops, $950 million in power production, $20 million in flood damage prevention, and $50 million in recreation. The project itself involves costs that are difficult to determine. The farms that receive irrigation water must pay …


What is Banks Lake used for?

Banks Lake serves as an equalizing reservoir for storage of water for irrigation and can be used to for power generation . Feeder Canal (1951) links North Dam at northern end of Banks Lake with the siphon outlets for the Grand Coulee Pumping—Generating plants discharge lines.


What was the Columbia River dam named after?

Additional hydroelectric generating capacity was added into the 1970s. The Columbia River reservoir behind the dam was named Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake in honor of the president. The irrigation holding reservoir in Grand Coulee was named Banks Lake . After World War II the project suffered a number of setbacks.


How many miles of water is pumped from the Columbia River?

Water pumped from the Columbia River is carried over 331 miles (533 km) of main canals, stored in a number of reservoirs, then fed into 1,339 miles (2,155 km) of lateral irrigation canals, and out into 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of drains and wasteways. The Grand Coulee Dam, powerplant, and various other parts of the CBP are operated by the Bureau …


What is the purpose of a reversible pump turbine?

The reversible pump-turbines are used to move water from Lake Roosevelt into Banks Lake, from which it can be either sent south into the Columbia Basin Irrigation system or returned to Lake Roosevelt by the generating pumps to create additional electricity for the grid.


What lake was created by glaciers?

Ice age glaciers also created Glacial Lake Missoula, in what is now Montana. Erosion allowed glacial Lake Columbia to begin to drain into what became Grand Coulee, which was fully created when glacial Lake Missoula along with glacial Lake Columbia catastrophically emptied.


How much money did the EPA give to the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program?

Congress appropriated $2.2 million to EPA in 2019 for implementing the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program.


When was the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program released?

The GAO’s final report, Columbia River Basin: Additional Federal Actions Would Benefit Restoration Efforts, was released in 2018 and recommended that EPA develop a program management plan for implementing the Act. Congress appropriated $2.2 million to EPA in 2019 for implementing the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program.


What is the Spokane River toxics task force?

The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force collaborative finds and reduces toxic compounds in the Spokane River as a TMDL alternative. Their goal is to develop a comprehensive plan to bring the Spokane River into compliance with water quality standards for PCBs. These pollutants exceed water quality standards in several segments of the river.


What is the Yakima River Basin?

The implementation of best management practices in Washington’s Yakima River Basin has proven successful in controlling soil erosion and reducing pesticide runoff. The work was the result of a collaborative partnership between Washington Department of Ecology, Yakima Valley growers, water purveyors, local conservation districts, and the Yakama Nation. The goal of the project was to lift the DDT fish advisory on the Yakima River within 20 years.


What is the Oregon Department of Agriculture?

Since 2000, EPA, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Agriculture and other state agencies have worked closely with agricultural producers in several watersheds to monitor pesticides in streams; and implement best practices to reduce pesticides and improve water quality.


What is EPA 123?

Section 123 authorized EPA to establish the Columbia River Basin Restoration Working Group that is representative of states, tribal governments, industry, and other entities. Section 123 also directed EPA to develop the Columbia River Basin Restoration Funding Assistance Program, a voluntary, competitive grants program for environmental protection …


What is the EPA?

The EPA and other federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and individual citizens are all engaged in efforts to restore and improve the quality of the water, land and air within the Columbia River Basin.


Overview


Irrigation of the Columbia Basin

When it was built, Grand Coulee Dam was the largest dam in the world, but it was only part of the irrigation project. Additional dams were built at the north and south ends of Grand Coulee, the dry canyon south of Grand Coulee Dam, allowing the coulee to be filled with water pumped up from the Columbia River. The resulting reservoir, called Banks Lake, is about 30 miles (48 km) long. Banks Lake serves as the CBP’s initial storage reservoir. Additional canals, siphons, and reservoirs were built south of Bank Lake, reaching over 100 miles (160 km). Wate…


History

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was created in 1902 to aid development of dry western states. Central Washington’s Columbia Plateau was a prime candidate—a desert with fertile loess soil and the Columbia River passing through.
Competing groups lobbied for different irrigation projects; a Spokane group wanted a 134 miles (216 km) gravity flow canal from Lake Pend Oreille while a Wenatchee group (further south) wanted a large dam on the Columbia Ri…


Geology

The Columbia Basin in Central Washington is fertile due to its loess soils, but large portions are a near desert, receiving less than ten inches (254 mm) of rain per year. The area is characterized by huge deposits of flood basalt, thousands of feet thick in places, laid down over a period of approximately 11 million years, during the Miocene epoch. These flood basalts are exposed in some places, while in others they are covered with thick layers of loess.


Component units of the project

• Grand Coulee Dam (1950)
• Lake Roosevelt
• Grand Coulee Pumping-Generating Plant (1953) consist of 12 pump-turbine units and two reversible pump-turbine units.) The reversible pump-turbines are used to move water from Lake Roosevelt into Banks Lake, from which it can be either sent south into the Columbia Basin Irrigation system or returned to Lake Roosevelt by the generating pumps to create additional electricity for the grid.


Unintended consequences

Hydroelectricity was not the primary goal of the project, but during World War II the demand for electricity in the region boomed. The Hanford nuclear reservation was built just south of the project and aluminum smelting plants flocked to the Columbia Basin. A new power house was built at the Grand Coulee Dam, starting in the late sixties, that tripled the generating capacity. Part of the dam had to be blown up and re-built to make way for the new generators. Electricity is now transmitted to Canada and as far south as San Diego.


Environmental impact

One environmental impact has been the reduction in native fish stocks above the dams. The majority of fish in the Columbia basin are migratory fish like salmon, sturgeon and steelhead. These migratory fish are often harmed or unable to pass through the narrow passages and turbines at dams. In addition to the physical barriers the dams pose, the slowing speed and altered course of the river raises temperatures, alters oxygen content, and changes river bed conditions. These altered conditions can stress and potentially kill both migratory and local non-migrat…


Economic benefits and costs

According to the federal Bureau of Reclamation the yearly value of the Columbia Basin Project is $630 million in irrigated crops, $950 million in power production, $20 million in flood damage prevention, and $50 million in recreation. The project itself involves costs that are difficult to determine. The farms that receive irrigation water must pay for it, but due to insufficient data from the Bureau of Reclamation it is not possible to compare the total cost paid by the Bureau to the payments received. Nevertheless, the farm payments account for only a small fra…

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