SVID Event to Spotlight Water Conservation, Partnerships and Improved Infrastructure

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Tim McCoy, (509) 575-5848 x 209

For Release: May 24, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. - A special event set for June 6 will bring federal, state, and private partners together to celebrate the completion of a nine-year, $45 million water conservation construction effort aimed at improving irrigation deliveries and enhancing instream flows for threatened and endangered fish.

The Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID) is hosting the event which will include representation from the Bureau of Reclamation, Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), the Yakama Nation and others to celebrate the completion of Phase I Sunnyside Canal Improvement Project authorized under the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) Water Conservation Program.

The event is scheduled from 10 am - noon at Sunnyside Reregulation Reservoir 37.10 located adjacent to the Sunnyside Canal near State Route 241 and Van Belle Road about 2 miles northeast of Sunnyside, Wash.

"This water conservation project is designed to effectively manage water deliveries," said Jim Trull, SVID manager. "If the system indicates that more water is needed in the canal we can meet that need quickly with our new automated system. On the other hand, if too much water is in the canal the excess will return to the reservoir for storage and not be wasted."

Some of the highlights of the new system include:

• Three reregulation reservoirs to regulate flows in the Sunnyside Canal, each with a capacity of 300-500 acre feet.

• Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to provide remote control and data collection resulting in a cost savings on fuel, labor, and water supplies.

• Thirty automated check structures to stabilize water surface elevations in the main Sunnyside Canal.

• Returns 30,000 acre feet to the Yakima River for instream flow improvements to benefit fish and wildlife.

• A cost-sharing effort involving 65 percent federal; 17.5 percent state; and 17.5 percent SVID.

The SVID Water Conservation Program is the result of a water rights settlement agreement between Reclamation, Ecology, the Yakama Nation and the Sunnyside Division Board of Control (SDBOC). Under the agreement, SVID will reduce its annual diversion by 19,450 acre-feet to benefit in-stream flows and retain 9,712 acre-feet to improve irrigation water supply beginning in 2013. Under a separate agreement, Reclamation purchased the use of SVID's saved water for instream flows.

For more information about the event contact Tim McCoy, Reclamation YRBWEP Manager, at (509) 575-5848 x209.

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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.