(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she included $1.25 million to complete the Odessa Subarea Special Study in the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
Senator Murray has been an outspoken advocate for federal investment to sustain the Odessa aquifer, which supplies drinking water for local residents and irrigation for millions of dollars worth of crops, and this year she successfully secured $1.25 million in funding after the project was eliminated from the President’s budget.
“In the Columbia Basin, nothing could be more important than water access,” said Senator Murray. “The completion of this study will ensure that the Odessa Subarea Aquifer continues to provide water resources to the farmers and residents of the Columbia Basin.”
This funding completes the feasibility study, which seeks to identify the best way to use Columbia Basin Project surface irrigation water to replace ground water in the Odessa Subarea aquifer. The ground water is currently being used for irrigation, and is depleting the aquifer. Once completed, this exchange of water sources will allow the ground water resource to be saved for future domestic use in the region and continue the existing irrigated agriculture production base, which is an integral part of the regional economy.
Having passed the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee today, the bill will now go to the full Appropriations Subcommittee before going to the full Senate for consideration.