Home Opinion

Pipe Columbia River water to California

Why we should pipe water from the Columbia River to California.

Published on March 6, 2014 9:54AM

It seems like the time has come to start a serious discussion about pumping some water out of the lower Columbia River to California.

I know there was a federal law passed about 25 or so years ago making that illegal, but laws are changed all the time. It seems like the time has come to change this law. California desperately needs the water. Many farms in the San Joaquin Valley and probably other places will not be able to grow their crops this year because they don’t have the water they need to irrigate their crops.

A lot of our food comes from there. Without those crops our food prices will rise and many farmers there will go bankrupt. The Columbia River puts so much water into the ocean that does not need the water, it seems like taking some out would not be a very bad thing for us and would be a very good thing for California and maybe even for southern Oregon.

Probably a good location for the pipeline would be alongside Highways 197 and 97 east of the Cascade mountains as there are less mountain ranges to cross there. I am sure those that would use the water would be glad to pay for the loss of any electricity that would not be generated because the water would not go through one or two more dams on the river. We get food from California and other places, oil and natural gas from Alaska, Canada, etc. What would be so bad about sharing some of our water with others who so desperately need it?

The pipeline should have at least two pipes in it in case something happens to one, the others would still keep working while one is being repaired. If there would be a place where the pipeline crosses mountains, on the downward side turbines could be put in to generate electricity to offset some of the cost of pumping the water.

Another possible location for the pipeline could be under or alongside the electric power line that goes from The Dalles, Ore., to California. I am sure the engineers can figure all that out, especially with all the experience irrigating Washington farms with water taken out of the Columbia at the Grand Coulee Dam.

A project this big would take a number of years to complete. The sooner we start on it, the sooner it will be completed. If we do nothing, 10 or 20 years from now, the problem will no doubt be worse with more people living in the southwest states and the need for more food for more people all over the world.

This could be called The Big Pipe Project, or for short, The Big Pipe. This would put a lot of people to work on a good project. Please contact your state and federal government representatives and ask them to support this idea. Thank you.

Bob Mattila

Brush Prairie, Wash.


Share and Discuss


User Comments