End in Sight for Acute Irrigation Shortage Affecting East Wenatchee
There's about to be relief from an acute shortage of irrigation water from the Greater Wenatchee Water District, which serves the East Wenatchee area.
Two new pumps are being shipped in to replace aging and failing pumps that have left the water supply at 30 percent of what's needed.
District Manager Craig Gyselinck hopes to have the irrigation supply back up to 100 percent by next Tuesday, but says a lot will have to happen.
"There's a lot involved in getting these pumps up and running," said Gyselinck. "I have people who are flying out from Ontario, Canada to get our switch gear working. I have electricians, pump mechanics and engineers that are all convening at our pumping plant to get this going."
A pump manufactured in Pasco is expected to arrive Friday morning, while one from Texas should be here by next Tuesday.
Until then, irrigation customers in the East Wenatchee area will continue to experience water being completely shut down for two days at a time.
Gyselinck says it normally takes weeks to schedule all the specialists needed to get these types of pumps up and running.
"But people are being pulled of vacation. People are giving up work on other jobs. So, everybody is being really helpful and recognizes the importance of this situation."
Cool weather and rain allowed the district to supply enough water until recently, but the warmer temperatures this week have made it impossible to keep up with demand.
The Greater Wenatchee Water District provides irrigation to 10,000 acres in the area, including areas of East Wenatchee, Brays Landing and Howard Flats. It does not serve Wenatchee.
The district supplies irrigation to a customer base which is about 80 percent agricultural orchards and 20 percent residential, where the water is used mostly for watering lawns.