The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association:
Advancing Irrigated Agriculture and Water Resources Management
The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association (CSRIA) represents many of Eastern Washington’s most prominent farming operations, with its members irrigating about 250,000 acres of prime row crop, vineyard, and orchard lands. The CSRIA works directly with its sister organization, the Eastern Oregon Irrigators Association, collectively bringing about 400,000 acres of irrigated lands into bountiful production.
The CSRIA membership includes some of the largest, and some of the smallest, “direct pumpers” from the Columbia-Snake River system, relying almost exclusively on private capital to build and operate river pump stations and intricate water distribution systems. The members have farming operations that follow the Columbia-Snake River system north from the City of Brewster, reaching to the south along the John Day and McNary Pools.
Some of the members own farming operations in the Yakima Valley and within the Columbia Basin Project area, and many work with food processing companies located throughout the state and nation. The membership also includes several municipal service irrigators, including Brewster, Kennewick, West Richland, and the Kennewick Irrigation and Hospital Districts.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
FOR MAINSTEM COLUMBIA-SNAKE RIVER PUMPERS
The CSRIA-sponsored BMP program is designed for irrigators and water right holders who are primarily “direct pumpers” from the mainstem Snake and Columbia rivers. Most of these irrigators independently hold state water rights, where the production agriculture irrigation systems are financed by private sector capital. Other direct pumpers are composed of small agricultural or more urban-based irrigators, holding independent river water rights, and representing a mix of private and public sector funding (municipal or special service district).