Irrigation Levels in East Wenatchee at 30 Percent of Normal
The East Wenatchee Area is experiencing irrigation problems which are leaving customers with only about 30 percent of their water supply.
The Greater Wenatchee Water District provides irrigation to 6,000 acres in the area, and it's having trouble replacing aging equipment.
District Manager Craig Gyselinck says they decided to upgrades their entire system after it began to malfunction last year, but delivery of new equipment is lagging months behind.
"Two out of the four pumps that we were supposed to receive, we have not received at this point," said Gyselinck. "The manufacturers are saying that there are supply shortages, that we should see those pumps by mid-July."
Gyselinck says the cool weather and rain allowed the district to supply enough water up until this past weekend, but it’s had trouble keeping up with demand since then.
The Water District has been consulting with industry experts in Washington, DC and around the country and has come up with one possible scenario to solve the issue.
Gyselinck says they've found a local company that is working around the clock to build one of the pumps, which would replenish water supply within the district to 60 percent of normal. Supply would be completely restored once the manufacturer hired to build the fourth pump fulfills its obligation, which is now pegged to happen by mid-July.
Right now, customers in the district can expect periods of low pressure and times when the water is completely shut off.
"We are shifting water around to try to make it as equitable as possible," Gyselinck said. "What that means is sometimes we might turn off one area and turn on another area, and the next day turn off that area and turn on the other area."
The Greater Wenatchee Water 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.
The district supplies irrigation to the areas of East Wenatchee, Brays Landing and Howard Flats, but does not serve Wenatchee.