Reclamation Joins Partners In Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Re-Regulating Reservoir

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Jim Trull, (509) 837-6980

For Release: October 29, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation will join the Washington Department of Ecology and the Sunnyside Division Board of Control for a groundbreaking ceremony for the beginning of a nine-year construction program designed to conserve water.

The event is set for 10:00 a.m. on November 15, about 5 miles northeast of Prosser, Washington. Those taking part in the event at the construction site include:

Mark Limbaugh, Reclamation Deputy Commissioner, Washington, DC

Bill McDonald, Reclamation Regional Director, Boise, Idaho

Linda Hoffman, Director, Washington Department of Ecology

Bob Golob, Chairman, Sunnyside Division Board of Control

The event is the first step in a $32.6 million effort, to be cost-shared under an agreement between the three partners based on a formula specified in the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Act.

"Implementation of the conservation measures follows on the heels of the Sunnyside Division water rights settlement agreement in the Yakima River Basin Water Rights Adjudication," McDonald said. "This project and agreement will settle long-standing water rights issues for the adjudication process, provide a significant legal cost savings for Reclamation, and improve irrigation conveyance system efficiency, benefiting irrigators and the environment."

Major components of the implementation project include construction of 30 automated canal check structures, construction of three re-regulation reservoirs, and installation of a System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to coordinate the movement of water throughout the 60-mile length of the Sunnyside Canal.

The conservation elements, when complete, will result in savings of over 29,000 acre feet of water. The Sunnyside Division will reduce its annual diversion entitlement by 19,450 acre-feet or (roughly two-thirds), and will retain 9,712 acre-feet (or one-third annually) to improve the availability of water supplies for irrigation when needed.


The groundbreaking ceremony is at the site of construction of the first of three reservoirs along the Sunnyside Canal. The site being dedicated is known as the M.P. 59.29 Re-Regulating Reservoir.

To get there take exit 80 off I-82, north on Gap Road (1.5 mi), east on King Tull Road (3.5 mi), north on Pioneer Road (.5 mi), to the site located on the right side of Pioneer Road.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.