Yakima Water Program & National Ag Week

Yakima Water Program & National Ag Week

Governor Gregoire gave the Department of Ecology and the Bureau of Reclamation high praise this past week for progress made to reach an agreement on the future of water in the Yakima River Basin when state and federal governments released a plan for improving the water supply in this diverse agricultural region where periodic droughts greatly reduce streamflows for farmers, ranchers, threatened fish, and surrounding communities. The $4 billion plan, a result of months of discussion by conservation and farm groups, the Yakima Nation, and local communities, includes proposals for one new reservoir and the expansion of others, along with the enhancement of water conservation and improved fish passage and habitat. The next step is to acquire funding for the project, which could prove a challenge with Washington lawmakers and Congress already considering budget cuts to ease deficits.

It’s National Ag Week, a perfect time to tell the farmers and ranchers in Washington how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication. With Washington being one of the most productive growing regions in the world, producing some 300 crops a year, agriculture is a huge economic driver in the state. Dairy producer Jay Gordon puts it quite succinctly.

GORDON: The bright spot in the economy is agriculture. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s dairy, or apples, or wheat, or potatoes, or any of the crops, by and large this pretty tough determined bunch of folks called farmers managed to come out of this recession, and we’ve got pretty good demand for our products.

Be sure to visit our website at aginfo.net.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

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