City to lease some river water to irrigators

By on Friday, May 14th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

HERMISTON – The city of Hermiston has agreed to lease a portion of its allocated Columbia River water to a group of irrigators. Hermiston has the right to take 7,000 gallons per minute of water from the river, but it doesn’t have the infrastructure to draw that much.

“The physical infrastructure, namely the pumps and motors and even the sizing of some of the piping couldn’t accommodate if we wanted to use all of that allocation right away,” Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said.

The contract is on a year-to-year basis and charges $1,500 per cubic feet per second. The total contract will pay the city $15,750 each year. If water demand changes the city will give a one-year notice to the irrigators that it will not be renewing the contract.

“It would probably take anywhere from nine to 12 months to make upgrades to the system in order to tap that water,” Morgan said.