Dam Removal Edit
by Stan Kuick
The Tri-City Herald editorial of Aug. 7 on dam removal lambastes the recent study favoring dam removal as unscientific, yet provides no specifics on exactly what was unscientific about it nor does it systematically refute the study in any way. It does mention that several groups, mostly agricultural-related lobbies, were opposed to the study. Sure, this west side study may be biased, but the groups mentioned in the editorial aren’t exactly impartial themselves.
But what irks me most about this editorial and many other news articles is the constant implication that irrigators will be put out of business by removing the Lower Snake dams. This is simply not true. As I pointed out in a previous letter, there are a number of water draws in the Hanford Reach that are doing just fine without a dam backing the water up.
Examples are the City of Richland water intake, Horn Rapids Road pumps, Energy Northwest intake and orchards at Ringold and Taylor Flat. It will cost irrigators a little money to extend their pump intakes, but it’s certainly doable.
Yes, there are other significant issues with removing the dams, but losing irrigation access is not one of them.
Irrigation Systems Modification Plan Annex O, Appendix D, Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility Study 2002 Related Pages
Irrigation from 4 Lower Snake River Reservoirs by farms and agricultural users by Reed Burkholder, Breaching Dams to Save Idaho's Salmon & Steelhead 1993
Addressing Irrigators' Concerns by BlueFish, Public Testimony at Pasco, 2/17/00
Broetje Orchards Fetches At Least $288 Million by Dan Wheat, Capital Press, 2/14/19
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