Grand Coulee Farm
Grand Coulee Dam (below) and the Columbia Basin Project were designed to provide irrigation for 1,100,000 acres. Phase 1 irrigates about 670,000 acres, the other 400,000 acres of phase 2 have never received their water and constitute the ‘hardscrabble’ wheat country I have been documenting in the majority of my eastern WA posts.
A rich variety of crops are produced and communities do well where there is irrigation.
Where water is available (there is always a lot of sun) crops grow quickly. The photo below was taken from the same point about 6 weeks after the one above!
Runoff water is gathered in a vast network of ditches and returned to the Columbia River laden with fertilizers and pesticides and heat.