A ground breaking ceremony was held on July 19th for the Bergevin-Williams/Old Lowden (BW/OL) diversion and pipeline at the diversion site. This ambitious project will eliminate two gravel push up dams that impede fish migration, replacing them with a state-of-the-art self-cleaning fish screen and diversion structure. The new consolidated diversion will be followed by construction of the BW/OL pipeline, which will replace almost 8 miles of open ditch with a water-saving pipeline. The irrigators have placed a substantial amount of water in permanent trust which will be left in the river for fish; in return they will have an efficient piped system that will eliminate conveyance loss (the water lost from evaporation and leakage in an open ditch) and aid in managing and conserving irrigation water. The projects are funded by grants from the Department of Ecology and Bonneville Power Administration with support from the Washington Conservation Commission, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the irrigators of the Bergevin Williams and Old Lowden ditch system.
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