Draft EIS on Odessa Sub area ready for public input

Draft EIS on Odessa Sub area ready for public input

Copies of the report are available
by phoning (509) 575-5848, ext. 603, or it can be viewed online at:


Washington Ag Today October 27, 2010 The Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River have completed the Odessa Sub area Special Study Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The document was released Tuesday and is open to public comment for sixty days.

The study examines the feasibility, acceptability and environmental consequences of alternatives to replace groundwater from deep irrigation wells within the Columbia Basin Project with surface water. Those wells have been drying up. Chuck Carnohan with the Bureau of Reclamation says the draft EIS looked at two main alternatives.

Carnohan: “So we have the full replacement which would be up to 102,600 acres which would be both north and south of I-90 which goes pretty much through the middle of the sub area. Then we have a partial replacement that would be replacing about half that many acres, about 57-thousand acres of currently irrigated land with surface water.”

There are then four alternatives for each full and partial replacement option addressing how to get the water delivered. Carnohan says the needed water can be delivered without constructing a new reservoir;

Carnohan: “But it would require additional drawdown in Banks and/or FDR.”

Which would have environmental and recreational consequences so plans for a Rocky Coulee Reservoir are included.

The draft EIS does not contain a preferred alternative. That will be in the final EIS expected next summer.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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