UMATILLA COUNTY – Thirty percent of the pipe is in the ground for the Central Pipeline Project which will carry water south from the Columbia River. The project is pausing to include representatives from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in the next part. The pipe is scheduled to be laid Coyote Coulee, a culturally significant Tribal site.
“We have such a great relationship with the tribes, and we don’t want to damage that,” Shafer said. “So, we said, ‘Hey, why don’t you guys come out to the site with us?’ We’ll have an archeological monitor out there just in case we find something.”
Tribal representatives began meeting at the site Friday. Shafer said the county has already provided CTUIR with a great deal of information.
“We’ve given the maps and all these things, because we want to be an open book,” he said. “We want to be transparent with our partners.”
The Columbia River water will run south with a drop-off point at the northeast corner of Columbia Development Authority land for use by the city of Umatilla. It continues south to benefit the Westland Irrigation District. What remains will be used to recharge the aquifer.
MyCB file photo of the Central Pipeline groundbreaking ceremony with Sen. Elizabeth Steiner and Commissioner John Shafer.