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ECBID Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program Public Scoping Meeting July 16, 2024

Updated: Jun 26



East Columbia Basin Irrigation District Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program Public Scoping Meeting July 16, 2024


Contact: Jules Riley, NRCS

Water Resources Planning Specialist

Phone: (509) 507-0178


Spokane Valley, WA - (June 26, 2024) - The East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID)

and project partners seek federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural

Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention

Program, Public Law 83-566 (PL 83-566). These funds are needed to assist in the construction of surface water distribution systems that would replace acre-for-acre groundwater irrigation on 70,000 acres in the Odessa Subarea with 164,000 acre-feet of new Columbia River diversions. The distribution systems are part of the area’s Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program (OGWRP) that aims to reduce the declining groundwater levels in the Odessa Subarea aquifer, while supporting existing agricultural land use. The proposed project is located within ECBID in

Central Washington.


To be eligible for NRCS federal funding, ECBID and project sponsors are developing a

Watershed Plan that will comply with PL 83-566 program requirements. The scoping meeting, and associated scoping period, is the first major opportunity for public participation related to the Watershed Plan and has two purposes:


1. Inform the community and interested stakeholders about NRCS-Washington’s efforts to

develop a Watershed Plan that, if authorized, would allow NRCS federal funds to support

the continued implementation of OGWRP.


2. Solicit public input related to resource issues and anticipated effects associated with a

NRCS federal investment toward the continued implementation of OGWRP. Public input

will help planners identify significant ecosystem services and stakeholders affected by

the proposed federal investment both on- and off-site.


The project is sponsored by ECBID, with funding and technical support from the NRCS, the

Bureau of Reclamation, and Washington State Department of Ecology. Columbia Basin

Conservation District has been contracted by the District to support the planning effort. Farmers Conservation Alliance, Parametrix, and Highland Economics are additional consultants on the planning team.


Members of the public are invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a

scoping meeting on July 16, 2024, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m at the City of Moses Lake’s Civic

Center Council Chambers, 401 South Balsam Street, Moses Lake, WA. Attendees will have

an opportunity to learn more about the proposed project and submit their comments. A recorded presentation will be available at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan.


Public comments may be submitted from June 26, 2024, through August 9, 2024. A scoping

document for the project is available at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan.


Comments may be submitted at the scoping meeting, emailed to comments@ogwrp-

programs.org, submitted online at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan, submitted via phone at (541) 716-6085, or mailed to Farmers Conservation Alliance, 102 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.


Following the public scoping period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input.


Once complete, the Watershed Plan will enable NRCS to apply for funding to construct

irrigation improvements through its Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program,

authorized by PL 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial

assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for planning and carrying out watershed

projects that help solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. These issues can include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and wetlands creation.


Additional information is available online at https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan or on the NRCS-Washington website at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-

basics/conservation-by-state/washington/nrcs-washington-public-notices.


Encontrará más información en línea en https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/watershed-plan o en la página web de avisos públicos del NRCS de Washington en https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/washington/

nrcs-washington-public-notices.


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