In 2012, the Oregonian ran an article stating that the Tri-Cities area was growing at pace that exceeded national averages. Today that number continues to grow and we are becoming known as a desirable destination for living, planting, and recreating. Everywhere we look the evidence of this growth is obvious. Whether change and growth are viewed as a good thing or leave one longing for the days when things moved at a slower pace, the fact still remains that all of this popularity means that governments and community organizations must be proactive in their planning to meet the challenges of urban growth.
For KID managing water resources for a growing community means starting with the basics, good stewardship of available resources and a dynamic approach: vigilant protection of our existing water rights, seeking ways to improve our supply and employing ways to do more with less, wherever possible.
It is no surprise that irrigation season keeps crews busy operating and maintaining the delivery system, but these days KID crews are busy all year long with capital projects. Capital projects are those that replace aging system infrastructure, make improvements to our delivery system, and employ water efficiency methods. This summer an all KID crew completed the first phase of a two phase project that will safely and more reliably deliver water to the rapidly expanding Southridge area. This is good news for our community and good news for our customers. It is one of the ways we are doing more with less.
The Southridge pipe project benefits both KID customers and our community both now and into the future. The aging infrastructure in this area was replaced with underground irrigation pipe. Underground pipe lasts much longer due to less exposure from the elements of heat and cold and threats like burrowing rodents. Moving pipe underground reduces the risk associated with canal breaks in neighborhoods and populated areas, which can create large scale damage. This project removed over four miles of perched canal that would have otherwise sat above the development. That material will be reclaimed. Lastly, with drought and water reduction concerns being faced by western states and all throughout the country and world, it is important to note that water evaporation is greatly reduced by moving water underground and that means there is more water available for delivery during times of scarcity.