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Washington irrigation districts get drought-relief grants

The Washington Department of Ecology has awarded drought-relief grants to irrigation districts in Kennewick and Wenatchee.
Don Jenkins

Capital Press

Published on September 17, 2015 10:49AM

Two Central Washington irrigation districts will receive more drought-relief funds from the Washington Department of Ecology.

The Kennewick Irrigation District was awarded $45,304 for temporary pumps, while the Wenatchee-based Stemilt Irrigation District will get $41,500 for new a new pipeline to deliver more water to orchards, DOE announced Wednesday.

DOE has now distributed almost $739,000 in drought-relief grants for nine projects. DOE spokesman Dan Partridge said the agency is still accepting applications for public projects that can be completed by Dec. 31 and will bring immediate drought relief. Agencies must match the state grant.

The Kennewick district has now received two grants to reimburse it for steps it took months ago to combat the drought. The grant announced Wednesday will split the cost of renting and operating four pumps that have been positioned to move water during peak-demand periods, General Manager Charles Freeman said.

Earlier, the district received $28,872 to inform residential customers about limits on watering lawns and enforce those restrictions. KID serves 20,200 acres, including more than 9,000 acres of agricultural land.

The Stemilt district will use the grant announced Monday to replace more than 3,000 feet of pipeline with a larger pipeline to enable the district to deliver more water to about 500 acres of cherry and apple trees, the district’s water manager, Kevin Juchmes, said. Construction should begin next week, he said.

The district earlier received a $297,348 grant for diversion and booster pumps to deliver water from the Columbia River to orchards.

Also Monday, DOE announced Whitworth Water District No. 2 in Spokane County will receive $56,000 to move a water station from a narrow driveway to a highway location more accessible for trucks. Rural homeowners with dry wells can obtain water at the station.

A water district in Startup, an unincorporated area in Snohomish County, will receive $15,400 to repair and rehabilitate a well that supplies 560 customers.


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