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OGWRP Watershed Planning Project (PL-566)

The East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (ECBID), the Grant County Conservation District (GCCD), and your legislators have received funding through USDA Farm Bill conservation programs, specifically, the NRCS PL-566 Watershed Program to help implement the next and final phases of OGWRP.

This new initiative known as the “OGWRP Watershed Planning Project (PL-566)”, is the starting point for securing significant federal funding through NRCS. Implementation will be determined as funding and plans develop, to sync OGWRP purposes and landowner investments. This USDA funding will build on the significant investments continuing to be made by the State of Washington, Bureau of Reclamation, ECBID and its producers.

More info can be found here: https://www.ogwrp-programs.org/

Click here to read the formal announcement

On May 23, 2022 ECBID held a special session of the Board of Directors to provide information on this program to landowners. Joined by partner agencies, the OGWRP Watershed Planning Project (PL-566) award, efforts, and timelines were presented to attendees. A Q&A session followed. Presented information can be found on the ECBID website.

Our friends from Washington Grown visited the 47.5 pump station recently to film a story on the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program. We'll provide details on when the program will air as soon as they are available.

Craig Simpson, P.E. Secretary-Manager

Craig Simpson joined the District in 1995 as the District Engineer and has served as Secretary- Manager since 2007. He attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in Washington State.

Craig’s commitment to civic engagement is evidenced through his service as President of Class XXV of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation, and by election to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Board of Directors, the Northwest Irrigation Operators Board of Directors, the Washington State Water Resources Association Board of Directors, as past co-chair of the Waterpower Taskforce Board, and current VP of the National Water Resources Association Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Columbia River Policy Advisory Group.

He enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking, attending sporting events, and spending time with his family.

East Columbia Basin Irrigation District Secretary-Manager Speaks at Conference

ECBID Secretary-Manager Craig Simpson spoke as an invited panelist at the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture (WASDA) annual conference. The event was held July 17-21 in Richland, WA.

This conference convened state agriculture directors from 15 western states to provide a unique opportunity to come together with partners and interested parties to discuss a wide breadth of issues impacting agriculture in the US.
Simpson shared the current implementation and construction status of the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project (OGWRP) with conference attendees.  The federally designated Columbia Basin Project (CBP) is the water source for thousands of farmers in Washington State. Decades ago, the Department of Ecology issued farmers in central Washington temporary permits to use groundwater to irrigate over 100,000 acres. This cropland irrigates the land that produces food shipped across the United States and internationally.
Read the full story here.

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