To CSRIA Members and Prospective Members:

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 300,000 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.

In economic terms, the CSRIA members annually generate about $475-600 million in state and local income. The irrigated agriculture sector purchases goods and services from numerous state economic sectors, ranging from paper products and food packaging to financial, legal, and marketing services.

The CSRIA Water Resources Management History:

The Association members have several decades of experience in water resources management and high-value agricultural production, including:

  • Development of the West’s most efficient irrigation systems and management practices.
  • Direct support for university and consultant research projects focusing on the environmental impacts of water use.
  • Economic impact assessments of water use affecting the agricultural, municipal, hydropower, and fisheries sectors.
  • The formation of Water Conservancy Boards, statewide legislation for water right changes and transfers, and the issuance of new Columbia River system water rights.
  • Litigation against state and federal agencies attempting to impair state water rights.
  • Widespread communications with all water users in Washington State, including municipal and commercial water users in both Eastern and Western Washington.
  • Strong working relationships with the state’s legislative leaders on water issues.

CSRIA Water Policy Positions for Washington State:

State Water Policy Foundation:

  • Under law, water rights are vested property rights held by persons, corporate entities, or municipalities. A healthy, functional economy demands that water rights are not infr