Kennewick Irrigation District delays water delivery to 2022

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The Kennewick Irrigation District is delaying the start of water distribution this spring after weather and supply chain delays to get the system ready.

The district plans to begin drawing water from the Yakima River on Saturday, April 9, and customers could begin receiving water the following week, the day depending on the location of the property.

KID has been working on a major project to widen and align the main channel in Badger Canyon.

Work can only be done during the off-season for irrigation, and this year work has been slowed on this project and on maintenance work due to supply chain issues.

In addition, a windy spring prevented work to widen and line the main canal for as many days as planned.

Work can only be done on the project on days when there is little wind, said Jason McShane, director of engineering and operations. Cold or wet weather also blocks coating work.

The widening of the canal will give the district additional space to store 80 million gallons of water, to be used when needed.

“Without this type of project, the next drought we have would be more severe,” McShane said.

“We have difficulty extracting water from the river many times and the river goes up and down,” he said. “This will allow us to store water when the river is high and use that water to serve our customers when the river is low.”

The lining of the canal will also reduce the amount of water that seeps into the ground rather than being delivered to customers.

1--MAIN-KID channel liner
The Kennewick Irrigation District is in the process of doubling and widening its main channel, which will make more water available during droughts. Courtesy of Kennewick Irrigation District

The district must also perform maintenance and flush, fill and charge 100 miles of canal and over 300 miles of piping each spring before water distribution begins.

Crews are working seven days a week, McShane said.

Customers can get more information on when their neighborhood will see water delivery this month by checking the water status map on kid.org, as it updates closer to the start of water withdrawal from the river.

They can usually expect delivery to be a week later than last year.

KID channel delay 2022 A.jpg
A canal in the Kennewick Irrigation District remains empty near Creekstone Drive in Kennewick after the agency announced a delay in filling the irrigation canal system for the 2022 season. Bob Brawdy

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Senior Writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She was a journalist for over 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.

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