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Lawmakers receive 'Life' for efforts to improve irrigation

Columbia Basin Development League Trustee Clark Kagele, left, and Chairman Milt Johnston present Rep. Judy Warnick with an honorary life membership in November for her efforts to bring irrigation to farmland.

Kacie Thrift


Columbia Basin Development League Trustee Clark Kagele, left, and Chairman Milt Johnston present Rep. Judy Warnick with an honorary life membership in November for her efforts to bring irrigation to farmland.

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— State Sen. Mark Schoesler and Rep. Judy Warnick were awarded Honorary Life Memberships by the Columbia Basin Development League during the organization's annual conference Nov. 7.

The conference was titled, "Where the Hell's my Water?"

The award recognizes their efforts to "support the Columbia Basin Project and its future development through orderly extension of irrigation infrastructure to eligible lands with recent focus to prevent economic and environmental disaster by replacing Odessa Aquifer groundwater withdrawals with project water."

Schoesler represents the 9th Legislative District, which includes Clarkston, Colfax, Pullman, Othello, Ritzville and other communities. Warnick serves the 13th Legislative District and constituents in a vast area stretching from Easton and Cle Elum east through Moses Lake and Davenport.

“Legislators from the 9th and 13th Districts provided the leadership to get the job done and worked to secure the largest state investment ever in project infrastructure,"

League board member Clark Kagele said. "Schoesler, the Senate Republican Leader and Warnick, the then Ranking Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee made sure the job got done and assured that this lifetime infrastructure would underpin the economy for decades to come.”

The last major contribution to the Columbia Basin Project was in 1975 when the state Legislature voted to fund a third of the cost of the second Bacon siphon and tunnel which was the first step to fully complete the project, League officials said.

Since Congress created the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1902, it has been building infrastructure to support economic development.

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