Ask Scott Revell, manager of the Roza Irrigation District, he’ll tell you Dan Newhouse’s recently introduced Water Act would be a huge benefit for irrigation agriculture across the western U.S. He says additional funding is sorely needed. For example, he said while the Reclamation Act went in to effect in 1902, some irrigation canals across central Washington and the Columbia Basin are older than that.
“There were irrigation canals built in the late 1800’s. The Roza project was actually began construction in the late 1930’s and the first water was delivered to the first blocks in 1941. [We’re] 75 years plus old in the first phases, so if you’re looking forward 20 years you’ll be approaching 100 years old at that point.”
Revell notes the Roza District is optimistic that Newhouse’s legislation will gain support and move forward. Which allows them to plan for the future.
“The District is aggressively planning out replacement and upgrades in order to be able to continue to deliver water. One of the issues is water supply to be able to put it in the canal, but we need the canals safe and functional particularly in those drought years when we’ve put all of the effort into firming up the water supply.”
Revell added they will shut off water for the season Tuesday, October 15th. He added it will take roughly five days for the entire system to drain.
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