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Grand Coulee : harnessing a dream (edition 1994)

by Paul C. Pitzer

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161615,960 (4.33)None
Member:MsMixte
Title:Grand Coulee : harnessing a dream
Authors:Paul C. Pitzer
Info:Pullman, Wash. : Washington State University Press, c1994.
Collections:Removed from collection
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Grand Coulee: Harnessing a Dream by Paul C. Pitzer

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An in depth look at the whys and hows of Grand Coulee Dam.

Fascinating if you live in Washington State, interesting if you don't. For the most part, the people who live in the area served by the Columbia Basin Project are diehard conservatives--yet they live and flourish there only because Franklin Delano Roosevelt made sure the building of the dam(s) was possible.

The massive amounts of irrigation water provided by this project greatly benefits the agricultural production of the area. North Central Washington is one of the largest and most productive tree fruit producing areas on the planet. Without Coulee Dam and the greater Columbia Basin Project, much of North Central Washington State would be too arid for cultivation.

According to the federal Bureau of Reclamation the yearly value of the Columbia Basin Project is $630 million in irrigated crops, $950 million in power production, $20 million in flood damage prevention, and $50 million in recreation. The project itself involves costs that are difficult to determine. The farms that receive irrigation water must pay for it, but due to insufficient data from the Bureau of Reclamation it is not possible to compare the total cost paid by the Bureau to the payments received. Nevertheless, the farm payments account for only a small fraction of the total cost to the government, resulting in a the project's agricultural corporations receiving a large water subsidy from the government. Critics describe the CBP as a classical example of federal money being used to subsidize a relatively small group of private special interest irrigation farming in the American West in places where it would never be economically viable under other circumstances. The recipients of the water protest that they should not have to pay anything, even though that was part of the original bargain. ( )
  MsMixte | Dec 10, 2012 |
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