A Major Water Issue

A Major Water Issue

Major Water Issue. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

If you are an irrigator in Eastern Washington, you've probably already heard about the recent discovery of a 2-inch crack in the Wanapum Dam. That 2-inch crack is likely to have a very far reaching problem for people who depend on the water for power generation and irrigation. Washington State Hort Association's Bruce Grimm has been working with state and local officials to hopefully find a quick solution.

GRIMM: You know at these levels we've got a lot of pumps out of water and we're going to have a real need agriculturally for water. Essentially what happened out at Wanapum Dam and that's the crack in the dam and they are today still as we speak drawing core samples and doing things trying to figure out what the extent of the problem is and then once they get that done the extent of the fix will come into play.

The water levels have been lowered at both Wanapum Dam and Rock Island to relieve pressure on the crack and allow investigation. Power generation may be affected as well as salmon migration.

GRIMM: And of course the big one that we're concerned about is what about the irrigators who are impacted behind the Rock Island reservoir? It's thought by the PUD, and again this is something they don't have control over but they think that they will be able to maintain their water level to the 609 (foot) level and that will still provide for some power generation. They can't promise any water level because they don't control it.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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