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Bob Hoff 10/21/05 More on Odessa Aquifer proposal
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: October 21, 2005

Washington Ag October 21, 2005 The centerpiece of a proposal for short term relief for deep well irrigators in the Odessa Aquifer put forth by the Odessa Aquifer Replenishment Coalition is recharging the declining water table by pumping Columbia River water back down some wells during the off-season, or winter months.

Pat Boss, principle consultant for the Coalition says another element of the groups proposal is having the state allocate funds or grants to deep well irrigators to help them further adopt water conservation measures. But if you dont use water you could lose it.

Boss: I know it is hard to believe but there are some people right now who are afraid to be more efficient because of the use it or lose it relinquishment law. And so it is silly when our aquifer is going dry to have a law on the books that basically promotes more use of water when we really should be promoting more efficient use of water and the state could do that with one fell swoop of a pen where they could exempt the Odessa Aquifer from the relinquishment law.

The Coalition is proposing just such a temporary exemption. It also suggests allowing irrigators within the Columbia Basin Project boundary to do temporary or periodic water transfers to their lands east of the Project in certain months to take pressure off the aquifer.

Im Bob Hoff.

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