Monday, May 01, 2006

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla seek $50M slice of the new Columbia Basin pie

"The $200 million program seeks to make more water available by increasing storage in new reservoirs. Two-thirds of the water would go to users like farmers and cities, and one-third would go back to the river for fish. "The Umatilla tribes - which have treaty rights on the Washington side of the border - are first asking for $400,000 to complete an Army Corps of Engineers study on their leading alternatives. "The final project will likely either be a new reservoir on Pine Creek, a tributary in Oregon, or a system of pumps, pipes and canals that will replace irrigation draws with water from the Columbia. "The $50 million would be Washington state's share of the overall construction price, which is estimated to cost at least $250 million."