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Bob Hoff 12/08/05 Study on Columbia River irrigation
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: December 08, 2005

Washington Ag December 8, 2005 Expanding irrigated agriculture along the Columbia River in Washington by making available an additional one million acre-feet of water would cost the states farmers about 70-million dollars a year. Thats the conclusion of two Texas A&M economists in a study commissioned by American Rivers and released yesterday. Dr. Gary Williams and Dr. Oral Capps corrected what they said were flaws in studies done for the Department of Ecology which concluded the additional irrigation water would generate an additional 180-million dollars a year. Williams and Capps said those studies erroneously assumed that prices would remain constant as supply increased. Williams and Capps say agricultural producers in the Columbia River area would be better off economically without additional irrigated acreage. Rob Masonis, Northwest Regional Director for American Rivers was more specific in describing the studys policy implications.

Masonis: The findings in these studies we are presenting today are relevant to any proposal to expand irrigated agriculture in the Columbia Basin not just the Columbia Water Partnership and that would include the proposal to complete the Columbia Basin Project, which has surfaced again recently.

Masonis did say his organization is interested in working to get water to existing irrigators suffering from the declining water table in the Odessa-sub-aquifer area.

Im Bob Hoff.

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