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June 30, 2015

Two new siphons in Lind Coulee will help expand ground water deliveries

Photo courtesy of the Columbia Basin Development League [enlarge]

Levi Johnson of the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District is shown here standing by the first test section for the Lind Coulee siphon project.

Contracts were issued in January to Rotschy Inc., of Vancouver, to construct two siphons in Lind Coulee, continuing the expansion of the East Low Canal portion of the Columbia Basin Project.

East Low Canal delivers water to landowners in the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and is the source of water for the Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program.

This expansion makes ground water delivery possible to land east of the canal.

Officials from the Columbia Basin Project said in a press release that the first 13 miles of expansion are complete, and involved removing 800,000 cubic yards of material. Another 550,000 cubic yards are set to be removed next year.

The release says the Lind Coulee siphons are the largest single project funded by a state Ecology grant for ground water replacement.

The Odessa program is designed to address depletion of the Odessa aquifer by replacing 87,000 acres of groundwater irrigation with water from the Columbia River. Partners include the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Ecology, Columbia Basin Development League and landowners.

In addition to expanding the canal, engineers are designing seven pump station/pipeline systems to deliver water from East Low Canal to eligible lands.

The release says water is currently available as part of the overall 87,000-acre project to serve over 7,000 acres for eligible landowners who may not be served by the planned pipeline systems.

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