Water Storage Funding

Water Storage Funding

Water Storage Funding


I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.


It is a continual challenge to determine where funding will come from for water storage projects in the Yakima River Basin and elsewhere throughout the West. Two proposals by Congressman Doc Hastings to address new ways to finance water storage projects nationwide were heard recently at a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power legislative hearing. Hastings explains.


HASTINGS: The first bill (H.R. 3981) that I had would be a bill that when somebody prepays those funds then would go into a special account to be used in the future for more water storage. And the second is to simply say that there should be a provision within the Bureau of Reclamation to fund water storage. When you have a growing population you have more need for water. It only follows logically you’re going to have more need for storage. We haven’t built more storage in the Yakima Basin for seventy years or more, and we need to do that. The sooner we get started on that the better off we are.


The Yakima River Basin Joint Board, a coalition of irrigation stakeholders that promote multiple uses of the Yakima River Basin water supply, submitted testimony in support of Hastings’ efforts stating that, “This bill would provide a critically important and creative financing mechanism for much needed water storage facilities… By making these funds available for investment in new surface water storage projects, to be repaid over time, the growing needs for new water supplies in the Yakima River Basin, and the West, could be met while protecting the jobs and communities so dependent on reliable water supplies for their very existence.”


That’s Washington Ag Today.


I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.


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