Potholes Supplemental Feed Route

Reclamation designed the Columbia Basin Project (CBP) to collect return flows from irrigation of land in the north half of the CBP for delivery to the south half. This return flow is stored behind O'Sullivan Dam in Potholes Reservoir. Due to increased demand in the south half and increased efficiency in the north half, an increased amount of return flow is necessary to adequately supply Potholes Reservoir. Therefore, return flows are supplemented with "feed water" - water diversions in the canal system specifically made to add water supply to Potholes Reservoir. Historically, Reclamation feeds water to Potholes Reservoir mainly through the East Low Canal. A supplemental feed route to Potholes Reservoir has been established in the natural channel of Crab Creek. To allow for operational flexibility in Crab Creek, the Frenchman Hills Wasteway was also modified to convey flows to Potholes Reservoir. Area Map >>

Since 2005, Washington State Department of Ecology has partnered with Reclamation and invested $2.1 million in study and $10 million in capital cost for a supplemental feed route. In August 2007, Reclamation issued a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Potholes Reservoir Supplemental Feed Route (PSFR).

The PSFR project consists of modifying existing facilities to allow water to be routed from Pinto Dam to Potholes Reservoir.

This study is separate and distinct from the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study and the Odessa Subarea Special Study.

04/2016 Fact Sheet PDF 217 kb
04/2016 Map of Area PDF 630 kb
04/2016 Notification of Increased Flow in the Frenchman Hills Wasteway PDF 27 kb
08/2007 Potholes Reservoir Supplemental Feed Route EA and FONSI HTML


Jennifer McConnell
Project Manager
(509) 754-0237

Bureau of Reclamation
Ephrata Field Office
P.O. Box 815
Ephrata, WA 98823-0815

Last Updated: 5/6/20