Progress Edition

Kennewick Irrigation District: KID moves ahead with renewed commitment to community

Community partners at signing of Amon Basin Memorandum of Understanding.
Community partners at signing of Amon Basin Memorandum of Understanding. Courtesy Kennewick Irrigation District

The Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) has continued to make significant progress on initiatives and projects that will benefit our customers and the community for years to come.

This commitment to our community is reflected in an updated mission statement and District Priorities adopted by the Board of Directors in 2018. It reads:

“The Kennewick Irrigation District will deliver irrigation water, protect water rights and enhance supply, as authorized by Washington State statutes and federal laws, for the maximum benefit of our community.”

The District Priorities are as follows:

▪  Service to Community and Care of the Environment

▪  Stewardship of District Assets, Water Rights and Supply

▪  Risk Management and Fiscal Responsibility

▪  Infrastructure Maintenance and Development

The following are a few examples of how KID has embraced this mission statement and priorities over the past year:

Service to Community and Care of the Environment

Amon Basin, located in Richland, is an area rich in resources that are important to the Tri-City community. The mix of habitat and irrigation facilities provides an important ecological amenity that is enjoyed by area residents and provides environmental education opportunities for the community at large.

KID, which manages the water in the basin for irrigation purposes, has recently partnered with local environmental groups Tapteal Greenway and Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society as well as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to open up lines of communication between these partners on management and stewardship activities within the Amon Basin.

The intention is that by opening up lines of communication among key Amon Basin stakeholders, the multiple values of Amon Basin can be managed in perpetuity for the benefit of the Tri-Cities’ environment, economy and community.

Stewardship of District Assets, Water Rights and Supply

The Chandler Electrification project will construct a new pump station and isolating reservoir to deliver water into our main canal during times of drought. The KID water supply depends on return flows in the lower Yakima River, which are diminishing due to the effects of up-basin conservation projects.

The current hydraulic pumps require one and a half buckets of water for every bucket of water delivered to the main canal. Electrification would nullify the need for water to drive the pumps and allow our allotted water to be placed into the main canal for delivery, with additional water to be left in the river to benefit habitat.

KID is working diligently with many stakeholders to get this project built. Specifically, KID is working on a project schedule and analysis as the next steps in the process, with the hope of construction being completed within the next three years.

Risk Management and Financial Responsibility

KID continues to line earthen sections of our canal system in strategic locations to reduce risk of canal failure and to increase efficiencies in water delivery to our customers. This offseason, KID is scheduled to line nearly five miles of portions of the Badger East lateral and the main canal. Funding for these projects come from federal WaterSMART grants leveraged by KID Capital Fund contributions.

Infrastructure Maintenance and Development

Title transfer of KID works from federal ownership would place decisions regarding management of our canals into local hands, which would greatly increase efficiencies as KID continues to urbanize. Additionally, KID has several miles of canals where a linear park would enhance our community, something that is not possible under current federal ownership. Legislation has recently passed both the U.S. House and Senate that would authorize title transfers such as the one proposed by KID. KID is grateful to Rep. Dan Newhouse for his support of this effort and for sponsoring similar legislation.