About $1.25 million to complete the Odessa Subarea special study has been included in the fiscal 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
The feasibility study will try to identify the best way to use Columbia Basin Project surface irrigation water to replace ground water in the declining Odessa Subarea aquifer. Officials have said the intended outcome is to save ground water for future domestic use in the region and continue irrigation for crops.
Murray's office said she has been an advocate for federal investment to sustain the Odessa aquifer, which supplies drinking water for area residents and irrigation for millions of dollars worth of crops.
"In the Columbia Basin, nothing could be more important than water access," Murray said in a statement.
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The appropriation was approved Tuesday in the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. It now will go to the full Appropriations Subcommittee and then to the full Senate for consideration, Murray's office said.