Keechelus-to-Kachess Conveyance Project
The Keechelus to Kachess Conveyance (KKC) project is one of several potential structural and operational changes being studied by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to improve water resources management in the Yakima River basin. KKC is being developed under the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) as part of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan (Integrated Plan).
The KKC would divert water from the Yakima River immediately downstream from the Keechelus Dam and convey it through a new tunnel to the Kachess Reservoir. This diversion would serve two purposes: (1) it would reduce high flows below the dam (at certain times of the year), which would provide spawning and rearing habitat for fish in the Yakima River, particularly Chinook and steelhead, and (2) it would accelerate refilling of the Kachess Reservoir if the proposed Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant (KDRPP) is constructed and operated during a drought year. Both projects align with the goals of the Integrated Plan to provide additional water supply for agriculture, municipal and domestic uses, and to improve fish habitat and passage.
Since the proposed KKC and KDRPP projects are closely connected, Reclamation and Ecology prepared the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance (KKC) Draft EIS (Draft EIS) in a single document. It includes environmental analyses for both the KKC and KRDPP.
The Draft EIS was released in January 2015 and describes the no-action alternative and five action alternatives. Each of the five action alternatives also includes bull trout enhancement for the Yakima River basin. The public involvement and comment period ended June 15, 2015. Reclamation and Ecology are currently reviewing these comments while also collecting additional scientific data, as necessary, and will reevaluate to affirm or revise the findings in a Supplemental Draft EIS for KKC and KDRPP, which is expected to be completed in late 2016. The release of the Supplemental Draft EIS will be followed by additional public involvement, request for comments, and review period.
The Supplemental Draft EIS will not contain comment letters received on the January 2015 Draft EIS; instead, response to comments from both the Draft EIS and Supplemental EIS will be in a Final EIS.
|04/2015||Update: Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir to Kachess Reservoir Conveyance Projects PDF 151 kb|
|01/09/2015||Draft EIS for Kachess and Keechelus Projects Released HTML|
|11/2013||Keechelus-to-Kachess Conveyance Project Scoping Meeting HTML|
|Washington State Department of Ecology|
(509) 575-5848 x203
Bureau of Reclamation
Pacific Northwest Region
Columbia-Cascades Area Office
1917 Marsh Road
Yakima, WA 98901-2058
Director, Office of Columbia River
State of Washington
Department of Ecology
15 W. Yakima Ave, Ste 200
Yakima, WA 98902-3452