Water to the Promised Land
As an aquifer declines, farmers hope for water promised 80 years ago.
LAST SUMMER as we stood in the middle of Brad Bailie’s onion fields just north of Connell, the discussion, as discussions seem to do in the Columbia Basin, turned to water.
Bailie ’95 pumps irrigation water from a well drilled down 800 feet. Neighbors have pushed wells down to 2,000 feet. At such depths, the water is often laden with salts and minerals. After a while of irrigating with this water, a crust can form over the soil surface. Farmers must use a variety of means to break up the crust, including … » More …