Reclamation, Ecology Convenes Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Work Group

Media Contact: David Walsh, (208) 378-5026
Wendy Christensen, (509) 575-5848 ext. 203

For Release: June 23, 2009

On June 30, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington State Department of Ecology will co-host a kick-off meeting of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) 2009 Work Group. The Work Group will draw on 30-plus years of information and experiences gained under YRBWEP and various planning efforts to develop comprehensive solutions to water resource issues in the Yakima basin.

The meeting will run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Yakima Arboretum at 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima, Wash.

Work Group participants will include the Yakama Nation, state, federal, county and city governments, environmental organizations, irrigation districts. Representatives from congressional delegations have also been invited to attend.

"We are looking forward to bringing an effective work group together again to find comprehensive solutions to managing the basin's water needs," said Jerry Kelso, Columbia-Cascades Area Office Manager.

Earlier successes of YRBWEP include the construction of fish ladders and fish screens at diversion dams and diversion canals, initiating new instream target flows at Sunnyside and Prosser Diversion dams during April through October, implementing water conservation projects, and habitat restoration.

The meeting is open to the public. The meeting facility is accessible to people with disabilities. Please contact Wendy Christensen at the Columbia-Cascades Area Office in Yakima, Wash., for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired or other auxiliary aids. Reclamation and Ecology will keep the public informed of the progress of the work group as it attempts to find positive solutions for the Yakima basin.

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