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OGWRP Partners Submit 6 RCPP Proposals with $71.9 Million in Partner Contributions

Updated: 3 days ago

On July 2nd, the Columbia Basin Conservation District (CBCD) submitted 6 NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) proposals for the EL 11.8 and EL 22.1 public delivery systems and on-farm infrastructure on behalf of OGWRP partners and producers. The 6 proposals included a total request of nearly $141 million with $71.9 million in partner contributions being committed. If awarded, these systems would be fully funded and moving toward construction in Fall 2025.

The EL 11.8 and EL 22.1 are the two most northern public systems currently being considered for the OGWRP. The EL 11.8 is nearing 90% design and the EL 22.1's 90% designs are currently under review.

The aquifer conservation, climate-smart, and economic benefits of these two proposed public irrigation systems are immense.

Once fully constructed the EL 11.8 will deliver surface water through the East Low Canal to the Marlin Hutterian Brethren (MHB), including 36 families, totaling 7,638 acres, effectively

removing 13 wells from pumping groundwater. This will save 22,914 acre-feet or 7.5 billion gallons of water in the aquifer each year and will conserve 23,596 WMh of renewable

energy. Additionally, MHB is committed to preserving and enhancing 3,667 acres of native habitat within the project area, including 1,224 acres of winter wheat/fallow cropland

being converted to shrub-steppe habitat.

Lands to receive replacement water through the EL 11.8 public delivery system. Marlin Hutterian Brethren in the distance. (Photo by Britton Baker, CBCD)
Site visit at the future location of the EL 11.8 pump station. (Left to Right: Jon Erickson, ECBID Development Coordinator, Harold Crose, CBCD Senior Advisor, Jerry Gross, MHB Farm Manager)

Once fully constructed the EL 22.1 will deliver surface water through the East Low Canal to 8 farms, including over 70 families, totaling 17,324 acres, effectively removing 34 wells from pumping groundwater. This will save 51,972 acre-feet or 17 billion gallons of water in the aquifer each year and will conserve 52,080 WMh of renewable energy.

CBCD has been working with OGWRP partners, producers, and legislators over the last several months to prepare for submitting the 6 RCPP proposals. Thankfully, through the leadership of Senator Mark Schoesler an additional $5.5 million in state funding was secured in the 2024 Supplemental Capital Budget for the EL 22.1 to commit as partner contributions Ecology's Office of Columbia River. These and other partner contributions are critical to making the RCPP proposals more competitive -- and the projects even possible.

CBCD would like to thank the following partners for their tremendous support. Together, they have committed nearly $72 million in partner contributions to help implement the EL 11.8 and EL 22.1 systems.

  • Marlin Hutterian Brethren

  • EL 22.1 Landowners Association

  • East Columbia Basin Irrigation District

  • Bureau of Reclamation

  • Washington State Department of Ecology's Office of Columbia River

  • Washington State Department of Agriculture

  • Washington State Conservation Commission

  • Washington State Potato Commission

  • Washington State University

  • Lincoln County Conservation District

  • Columbia Basin Conservation District

  • Columbia Basin Development League

  • Columbia Basin Sustainable Water Coalition

Additionally, CBCD would like to thank the EL 11.8 and EL 22.1's engineering firm, IRZ Engineering, the 22.1 Landowners Association, Marlin Hutterian Brethren, and Irrigators Inc. for their incredible help and commitment to developing strong, competitive RCPP proposals. We also want to thank the many NRCS-Washington staff who were available to help answer questions as we worked to bring the details together.

EL 11.8 and 22.1 planning meeting. (Left to Right: Doug Allen, CBCD, Harold Crose, CBCD, Dylan Hatch, IRZ Engineering, Quincy Cook, Irrigators Inc, Jerry Gross, MHB)
Not only are we continuing to build the internal capacity and expertise to implement multiple RCPP projects for the OGWRP, we have an outstanding team of partners, producers, contractors, and elected officials who are fully committed to ensuring their success. And we couldn't do it without them.

- Kristina Ribellia, CBCD Executive Director

CBCD has been awarded 4 RCPP proposals for the OGWRP to date, including $46 million in financial and technical assistance from NRCS for the EL 80.6, 84.7, and 86.4. Thanks to NRCS' support, these systems are fully funded and moving forward.

We anticipate NRCS will announce the awards for the current RCPP proposals submitted Nationwide in October of this year.


CBCD’s work to pursue and secure USDA-NRCS funding for the OGWRP is made possible thanks to our Washington State Legislators and the Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River.

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