Wanapum Dam Update

Wanapum Dam Update

Wanapum Dam Update. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Even with water issues this year those users from the Wanapum Dam in Eastern Washington will be pleased to hear the dam is being refilled and should soon be back to normal levels. Tom Stredwick, Public Affairs Manager for the Grant County PUD says they are ahead of schedule.

STREDWICK: We had anticipated being in a place where we could restore the reservoir behind the dam in the May time frame and our contractors and staff have been working in such a way we've been able to expedite that. We're going to be a month, month and a half ahead of schedule so what that means is we're able to raise the reservoir up eight feet approximately, over the next 1-2 weeks.

A crack was discovered in the dam last year and water levels were dropped to access and affect repairs. Irrigators will be able to once again begin pulling water for their crops.

STREDWICK: Well as soon as those surface water intakes are in place I think they're going to be in a good place to start irrigating. We're definitely pleased with the outcome a glad we're able to meet that deadline. We have roughly a thousand surface water intakes on our stretch of the Columbia River, we're expecting that those irrigators are going to have access to the water that they need.

Unlike many other areas of the northwest that depend on snowpack for water, Stredwick says that's not the case with the Columbia.

STREDWICK: We're fortunate here on the Columbia River, we're not as dependent on the snowpack that we have in the Cascades as much as we are the Canadian Rockies. We're in a position where we're in the low to mid 90% of average in terms of water coming through the Columbia River this year.

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

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