Office of Columbia River photo identifier

Office of Columbia River

photo of White Bluffs area of the Hanford Reach are of the Columbia River

Celebrating a decade of work protecting our water

Are we water resilient? In the last decade we’ve developed 400,000 acre-feet of water for families, farmers and fish in Eastern Washington.

  • Ecology director Maia Bellon speaking at the Lind Coulee Siphon construction celebration, July 13, 2016. (Click through slideshow for more)
  • For fish: 96,584 acre feet of water developed for instream use.
  • For families: 313,828 acre-feet developed for out-or-stream use.
  • For habitats: over 80 miles of river improved.
  • Enough water to serve 100,000 acres of farmland.

Water Resiliency

Since 2006, the Office of Columbia River has been building water resiliency in Eastern Washington, especially in response to changing climate and drought.

We’re delivering on the promises made when the state’s Columbia River Water Management program was established by the Legislature 10 years ago to pursue water solutions for farmers, growing communities and to benefit endangered salmon and the natural environment.

For decades, peaceful water solutions seemed like a remote possibility due to the prospect of drought, endangered species listings, new water-right moratoriums and declining aquifers.

Today, through innovative partnerships, we’ve developed more than 400,000 acre-feet of water in Eastern Washington. This includes:

  • Water for vineyards on Red Mountain
  • Water for potatoes, corn, seed crops in the Columbia Basin.
  • Water security for towns like Twisp and Bridgeport and the cities of White Salmon, Kennewick and Pasco
  • Water made available to improve streamflows all along the Columbia River and in important tributaries like the Methow, Peshastin and Yakima.

This work supports a $1.5 billion agricultural industry, protects an aquifer that has dropped as much as 200 feet since 1980, and supports endangered fish in key basins along 80 miles of river.

There’s more to be done. Together with our partners we’re continuing to secure the infrastructure and funding needed to develop integrated water solutions now and in the face of climate change to assure sustainable water supplies for our growing communities, rural economies, and natural environment.

The Office of Columbia River (OCR) aggressively pursues development of water supplies to benefit both instream and out-of-stream uses. OCR does so by funding and coordinating storage, conservation, and transmission projects.

OverviewPROGRAM OVERVIEW: Learn more about why the Columbia River Program was established and what the Office Of Columbia River is working to achieve.


Priorities PROGRAM PRIORITIES: The Legislature set four major priorities for the program.

Projects and Funding WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS AND FUNDING: OCR is developing dozens of projects across Eastern Washington.

OverviewOCR OPERATIONS: OCR's operations staff conduct tasks ranging from technical assistance and enforcement to metering supervision, public involvement, and voluntary regional agreements.


Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage ReleasesLEGISLATIVE REPORTS: Annual supply, quinquennial (every five years) demand forecast, Voluntary Regional Agreement, and other reports to the legislature.

 

Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage ReleasesWEB TOOLS: Web tools to help you drill down into Columbia River water resource data.


2017 LEGISLATION

Seeking Input

Ecology is considering legislation that clarifies uncertainties brought about by recent court decisions. This will allow the state to issue permits more efficiently. Ecology is seeking stakeholder views and input for the bill. Please send comments to OCR@ecy.wa.gov

WATER SUPPLY FORECAST

Sign Up for Email Updates

Condit Dam Final SSEIS


RELATED LINKS

USGS Columbia Plateau Groundwater Availability Study

Water Conservation

WA Water Exchange

Climate Change & The Columbia River