Reclamation Releases EA and FONSI for the Sunnyside Division Conservation Program

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
John Evans, (509) 575-5848 ext 238

For Release: September 24, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation has released an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for implementation of the Sunnyside Conservation Project. The Sunnyside Division of Reclamation's Yakima Project is located in south-central Washington about 4 miles south of Yakima, Washington.

The purpose of the Sunnyside conservation project is to make the Sunnyside system more efficient by implementing canal system improvements, thereby conserving water for fish.

One alternative is identified and analyzed in the report to implement the conservation project. That alternative addresses construction of three re-regulation reservoirs, and automation of the main canal drop structures. The Sunnyside Division diverts its water at the Sunnyside Diversion Dam, on the Yakima River near Parker, to the vicinity of Benton City, Washington.

The automation of the Sunnyside Canal and the addition of re-regulation reservoirs will allow the operation of the Sunnyside Canal to more closely match the demand. The automation of the Sunnyside Canal check drop structures will provide for more precise and continuous control of canal water levels. The SCADA system will provide the tools to remotely adjust the canal and provide extensive real time information as to what is happening in the system. The ability to remotely monitor the system and make changes with little effort, in combination with the creation of re-regulation reservoir storage provides the tools to reduce spill in the system.

Under the "No Action Alternative," the current irrigation system would remain in place and no conservation would occur.

The EA and FONSI are available on the Internet by following the link at, or by contacting Dave Kaumheimer at UCA-1600, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Columbia Area Office, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima WA 98901, or fax (509) 454-5611. For information, telephone (509) 575-5848, Ext. 232.

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