irrigation

Ann King / NW News Network

Dusty pumpkins slap between rough hands as workers throw them into a tractor’s trailer. 

It’s a rhythmic, full sound, like a child testing a drum. 

This third-generation farm supplies more than 600,000 pumpkins to Walmarts, Wincos, Yokes and Home Depots in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. But here in southeast Washington near the Tri-Cities, the farm’s future is at stake.

There’s a fight over a proposed reservoir that pits these third-generation pumpkin farmers against thousands of potential water users.  

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Four landowners near Moses Lake, Washington, have been fined $618,000 for illegal water use. The water was pumped from the Odessa aquifer, which has been in severe decline for more than 30 years. 




Anna King / Northwest News Network

Every five years, a team convenes to evaluate long-term water supply and demand for the Columbia River Basin. For eastern Washington, the water supply will increase, but not when demand is highest.

Melissa Webb / USDA-NRCS

April 1 is, on average, generally considered the date of the peak snowpack in the Northwest. And around now, is when many irrigation districts begin filling their canals to get ready for watering season.

There are grounds for optimism as well as caution.

Oregon Marijuana Farmers Learn Rules And Regulations

Oct 14, 2015
Wikimedia

Pot farmers have to follow the same rules and regulations as the rest of the agriculture industry. That was a key takeaway Wednesday at a workshop for budding marijuana growers in Salem.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The Roza Irrigation District in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley is shutting off the water for two weeks because of drought. About a billion dollars in crops are on the line.

Benjamin Cody / Own Work

Construction begins this week on a state project in the Methow Valley that will give fish a boost of cold, clean water in rivers near Twisp, Washington.

Wikimedia

Farmers in Eastern Washington who want to get into the marijuana business may face an immediate hurdle.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Dam engineers are continuing to keep the pool behind the ailing structure drawn down to relieve pressure.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In central Washington, state officials and farmers are scrambling to save orchards at risk of drying up because of a drawdown of the Columbia River.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Thousands of acres of high-value cherry and apple orchards behind the damaged Wanapum Dam are at serious risk.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

A dried-out three-mile-stretch of creek in Central Washington will soon swell again with water. It’s part of a project near Ellensburg to pipe irrigation water from the Yakima River to keep water in the creek for salmon and steelhead.

Bureau of Reclamation

A major irrigation canal has sprung a leak in Eastern Washington. That could stress crops across a huge swath of the Columbia Basin just as the weather inches up into the 80s this weekend.

The river-like Main Canal of the aging Columbia Basin Project is largely out of commission. Six concrete panels that line it buckled and have to be replaced. Workers have to lower the flows on hundreds of miles of canals downstream from the break for days so they can pour new concrete.