Editor's note: The candidates' responses to the following question are exactly as submitted, without any editing.
8. Will you support federal programs to expand water storage on the Yakima and Columbia Basin Projects?
It's about jobs and I am absolutely in support of the Yakima and Columbia River Basin Projects. Not only will they bring immediate jobs in their construction, but will guarantee them in the long run. If our farmers have the water resources they need we can maintain our agricultural leadership.
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Here again is an example in which the Federal Government is a vital partner to the region. That's why we must have a strong advocate representing us in Washington.
George Cicotte Yes - water is 21st century gold, and we need a new "Fort Knox" for it here in Washington State. Dollars spent building water resources will be repaid in agricultural production and other dividends. The cost/benefit analysis will only increase over time.
For example, the Yakima River Basin Enhancement Project will perfect existing junior water rights, create more irrigable acres of land, and will produce hundreds of new jobs in our District. These new jobs will help the Yakima Basin maintain its status as one of the highest producers of agriculture products in the country, along with allowing farmers and agriculturalists to focus more on producing food and less on fighting for water rights, many of which already suffer from having limited, secondary rights.
The 4th District has also benefited from the Columbia Basin Project, and we have all reaped the benefits of the Project. I am a strong advocate for completing the Project.
I will work with those entities in the region who are also in favor of bringing the Project to fulfillment, including the potential for public-private partnerships that fit within the confines of water law.
(Editors note: We received Didier’s answer July 23)
Ideally, these projects would be funded with Washington State money, because we know from the Hanford situation just how difficult and expensive completing projects can be when the federal government bureaucracies are involved in any way. However, there remains a time and place for federal assistance if public safety and commerce are at stake. I do, however, have concerns that the project must be first and foremost about essential domestic water needs and water for the agricultural communities in the Yakima and Columbia basins as opposed to accomplishing the latest taxpayer funded wish list for non-essential environmental projects.
As I have done as your State Senator, I will continue to advocate for water storage in the Yakima River Basin and within the unfinished part of the Columbia Basin Project.
We don't have a water supply problem -- we have a water storage problem. Seeking solutions that provide enough water storage for the next 50-100 years is what this Congressional District needs.
If the Federal government contributes funding, it should be used primarily for water storage, not mitigation. If Seattle wants to pay for mitigation, I have no objection as long as they do not use the power of eminent domain.
The bottom line: No water equals no economy. I will fight to ensure that never happens.
Why would we need the federal government to decide that kind of thing? If it is that important, why is there not a business already looking to meet that need? Why are the local or state governments not looking into these things?
Yes. I believe that water is the lifeblood of Central Washington, not only for our growers, but for our communities and the environment as well. It is necessary for the state, municipalities, irrigators and others who have already indicated a willingness to make an investment as well.
One of my primary duties will be to continue to educate Congress about the vital importance this project has not only to those who live in Washington, but to our entire nation.
Gordon Allen Pross
What the benefit? The whole world has to benefit from our Columbia basin bread basket. Since we have three branch's of government, federal money is your money and this is for profit. The money will be returned.
I will follow my oath to the constitution. Water management is not the task of the Federal government.
Glen R. Stockwell
Yes, As the Tri-City Herald board should already know because we have met before while I was running for Washington State Representative of the 9th Legislative District.
As you may remember? I have been consistently promoting over the last 5 years "Total Fast Track Completion of the Columbia Basin Project by 2022"! Within my promotions, I have always stated prior we should have 4 new Inland Reservoirs for the Columbia Basin Project.
If you would go to my campaign web site, you will see the real effort, I have extended for the last 5 years in bringing 2nd largest Construction project to Washington State in the last 69+ years. The Fast Track Completion of the Columbia Basin Project by 2022, actually in 2010 Senator Patty Murray took my proposal to Obama and VP Biden and in December 2012 Governor elect Jay Inslee took the proposal to Obama while meeting with him in Hawaii!
As your next Congressman, I will be aggressively leading a Bipartisan effort to establish "My Water Project Visions" for the Snake River Irrigators, Columbia Basin, and the Yakima Valley Projects. I will be aggressively promoting and building 6 Inland Reservoirs in the 4th District!
I met with then Congressman Inslee on February 20th, 2012 as he was coming off the podium after announcing his candidacy for Washington State Governor! Jay told me as we shook hands "Glen the only thing holding this project back is money", and he was & is 100% correct!
I will have the project monies for all three projects within my 1st term in office!
Candidate has not provided a response.