Tieton River Canyon - Main Canal Upgrade Facts
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR PURSUIT TO SECURE LONG TERM WATER SUSTAINABILITY FOR OUR USERS
- .The main canal was not included in the rehabilitation and betterment project completed in 1986.
- February of 2013 - YTID hired a consulting firm to complete a feasibility study on the replacement or upgrade of the main canal as well as the ability to wheel water to acreage within the Cowiche Creek drainage system for fishery enhancement purposes.
TIETON RIVER FISHERIES ENHANCEMENT AND WATER RELIABILITY PROJECT
Background and Alternatives:
The Yakima-Tieton Main Canal is 111 years old and at risk of catastrophic failure. Since 2013 YTID has been evaluating alternatives to repair or replace the canal. We have evaluated dozens of strategies, including in-place repair, new gravity pipeline following various alignments, tunneling, new storage, pumped conveyance from another diversion location, and combinations of all of these. Three main alternatives have emerged and are being carried into Feasibility-Level Design and NEPA compliance.
These alternatives are:
- The Wapatox Pump Station and Pipeline
- North Fork Cowiche Creek Reservoir
- Gravity Tunnel Feasibility Assessment Field Investigation
Current Status and Key Discussion Topics
From 2013 through 2021 approximately $2.4 million has been spent refining and evaluating the alternatives. Of the amount spent almost 50% has been federal and state grants as well as funding from other sources. The cost sharing will continue in 2021 and 2022. YTID applied for and will receive federal funding assistance from Reclamation toward development of a Pilot Study under the WaterSMART (Basin Study Program). The federal contribution will be 46% with YTID providing 54%.
In addition, YTID is involved in the review process developed for the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan for new project proposals. This work is being coordinated by Reclamation, the Yakama Nation and Department of Ecology and the stakeholders involved in the YBIP process for the Tieton River Fisheries Enhancement and Water Supply Reliability Project. YTID met with Reclamation, YN, WSDOE and other basin stakeholders to work the new project document together to help create a clear scope of how the project aligns with the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan(YBIP).
This project further refines modeling work already completed by Reclamation and YTID under YBIP to evaluate alternatives. The project is a keystone example of integrated, multi-use water management that simultaneously benefits irrigators, ESA-listed salmonid populations, and the environment. This pilot proposal aligns with the goals of Integrated Plan. Key partners on this project are the Yakama Nation and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. It has also received support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Yakima Basin Joint Board, Washington Department of Ecology, Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, National Marine Fisheries, Yakima Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board, Yakima County, Trout Unlimited, North Yakima Conservation District and US Forest Service. The project objectives are as follows:
- Improve the long-term reliability of water to YTID.
- Improve the Tieton River fishery
- Increase the TWSA or mitigate for other requirements.
- Provide additional water to pro-rated water districts.
- Augment flow to Cowiche Creek and other upper basin tributary streams
The initial work began later than anticipated due to the impacts of COVID -19. The pilot study will build upon work already completed by YTID and others.
MAIN CANAL PROJECT STUDIES