Local

This project helps prevent flooding in the Tri-Cities. It just got a boost from the feds

Kennewick Irrigation District employees install a flexible liner in a canal adjacent to South Ely Street near West 36th Avenue in Kennewick.
Kennewick Irrigation District employees install a flexible liner in a canal adjacent to South Ely Street near West 36th Avenue in Kennewick. Tri-City Herald file

A $1 million federal grant to the Kennewick Irrigation District will help prevent canal breaks and flooding that can damage property.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded KID a 2018 WaterSMART grant that will go toward lining 5.6 miles of earthen canal with high-density polyethylene.

The grant program’s goal is to conserve water. KID will use the money it receives to help keep the equivalent of 1,237 acres of water a foot deep from seeping into the soil, making it available for irrigation.

But an added bonus could be fewer canal breaks like the one in June 2016 that released millions of gallons of water and flooded homes in and near a 13th Avenue cul-de-sac in Kennewick after an animal burrowed through the earthen canal.

A Kennewick Irrigation District canal flooded roads and homes in the Country Ridge neighborhood Friday evening.

Since 2011, KID has finished lining about 24 miles of canal. One of the most visible projects is the lined section of the Division 4 canal starting near Creekstone Drive in Kennewick and stretching 10 miles to the end of the canal in Finley near Hover Park.

The $4.8 million in federal grants KID has received over the past four years has helped with the work.

With some of that remaining money and the current grant money to be used over the next three years, KID will have lined a total of 33.8 miles.

That won’t finish the job. It will leave about 13 miles of earth canal unlined.

KID lining.JPG
Kennewick Irrigation District employees spread an underliner in an empty irrigation canal off Highway 397 near Finely Road. Tri-City Herald File

The money received this year will continue ongoing work to line both the Division 4 Canal and the Badger East Canal, including in South Richland and Badger Canyon.

The grant will require a match of about $2 million, with some of the money coming from the capital upgrade and improvement fund that KID members see on their statement and also from Red Mountain funds.

Other money will come from a conservation account that benefits from the expansion of irrigation service to Red Mountain.

In total, the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $26.5 million in WaterSMART grants this month to improve water efficiency in the West.

Annette Cary; 509-582-1533
  Comments