More Water Needed For Dwindling Crops - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Water Needed For Dwindling Crops

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WAPATO, Wash.-- The hot and dry weather is felt not only here in Yakima, but all over Central Washington.

Now farmers and landowners in the area are having a hard time getting a steady stream of water to their crops, all because of a broken pipe.

The Wapato Irrigation Project hit a roadblock when two motors broke last month because of a broken water pipe causing water delivery across the valley to slow down.

"Of course they want the pumps repaired and water restored back to normal conditions as soon as possible," said project manager, Edwin Lewis.

Right now there are have portable pumps getting water to crops, but they do not get enough water to farmers.  One week it is everyone downstream, the next it is everyone upstream.

Lewis said this was an odd incident, and it was something they could not prepare for.

"A pipe burst, it didn't stop the motors, again it was a one-time incident," Lewis said.

One Wapato landowner says he wants answers.

"When the fields go dry, when that water delivery is failing because of 1930's equipment, who do we blame?" Alvin Schuster said.

The two motors that are broken are being fixed.  Officials at the Wapato Irrigation Project hope at least one motor will be back up and running within the week.

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