Amon Wasteway is a designed and (in some places) constructed feature of the KID operating system. Its purpose is to drain excess irrigation water away from the canal system and from lands within this area of the district.
KID is currently implementing water conservation measures in its system that will have the side effect of reducing the amount of flow in the Amon Wasteway.
When the KID system was developed in the 1950s, the intent of the project was to deliver water to farms for crop irrigation. The canals were not designed to provide water storage, nor were they intended to deliver water through pressurized pipes, since that was not the standard for agricultural systems at that time. Instead, the canal system was designed to transport excess water to ensure delivery in times of peak demand. Farmers at that time would order their water delivery two days in advance, and the water levels in the canal would be adjusted accordingly to meet that demand.
Now with over 23,000 customers, over two-thirds of which are urban, the majority of KID customers get their water delivered through pressurized pipe systems that the original canal system was not designed to accommodate. As a result, KID has to anticipate water demand in order to prevent the overtopping of the canals by excess water. This is accomplished through measures such as examining weather forecasts and anticipating increased weekend demand. However, the rapid urbanization of KID has required the district to rely even more on having excess water available to meet demand, and on the use of our wasteways to handle the unused excess to prevent canal breaches and the flooding of homes and property. The result is that the amount of spill and flows into the Amon Wasteway is dependent upon having to run more water through the canal system that might normally be needed, which runs counter to prevailing thoughts on water conservation and efficiency.
Specific conservation measures that KID is utilizing in its water resource planning and management strategies include canal lining, installing automated gates, and the building of re-regulation reservoirs. These measures will reduce operational spills, seepage, and return flows, and will help KID to accomplish the following:
Public Safety Enhancements
- Canal lining will protect life and property within the district by reducing the chance of canal failure
- Automated gates and reservoirs will allow for more efficient management and control of the water in the canal system, and will prevent overtopping
Increased Efficiency in Water Delivery to Customers
- Reducing seepage through canal lining will enable KID to be more efficient in delivering a reliable supply of irrigation water to customers
- Automated gates will allow for better management and control of the water supply by automatically adjusting canal flows and increasing the efficiency of water use
- The re-regulation reservoirs will allow for the storage of water that would have otherwise been spilled; this stored water will enhance supplies during times of higher demand or decreased supply, allowing for more consistent and efficient water delivery to customers located further down the system
- Canal lining will reduce seepage, which will allow more water to remain in the Yakima River below the diversion at Prosser to benefit in-stream habitat
- Canal lining will impair the growth of aquatic weeds, which will benefit the environment by requiring less chemical herbicides to be applied for vegetation control in the canals
- Reduced seepage and spill will curtail sediment transport to the Yakima River by decreasing bank erosion in the wasteway
- Reduced seepage and spill will allow for the wasteway and associated drains to shift towards more natural conditions, which will increase habitat for native species
Some water will remain in the wasteway from spills and applied irrigation return flows. This water will still be available to serve KID customers who depend on their water supply being pumped from the wasteway.
The following links provide more detailed information on science, policy, planning, and management in the Amon Basin:
- Amon Basin Drainage
- KID Drains and Wasteways Overview
- 1917 Pasco Quadrangle
- 1948 Photo of Amon
- 1955 Photo of Amon
- 1962 Photo of Amon
- Amon 1950 to present Dual Map
- Amon Basin Access Control Map
- USBR Amon Specs
- 1956 Amon Pumps Photo
- LaPierre Drain
- Willowbrook Plat
- 2011 McKern Declaration
- 2005 Natural Streamflow Report
- 1986 USGS Pasco Basin Groundwater Report
- Water Supply Bulletin 53
- 1983 Badger Canyon Groundwater
- 1975 ROE for Meadow Springs
- West Fork Amon Wasteway Salmonid Suitability Study
- 2010 Amon Aquatic Habitat Report
- 2003 Amon ESA Biological Assessment