Monday, April 16, 2007

A pickle of a water problem

An Oregon Senate bill, SB 483 , introduced a few weeks ago would permit farmers to withdraw more water from the Columbia River to increase crop production and spur economic growth in the northeastern part of the state. And farmers, including Kent Madison (who's growing canola to crush into biodiesel and selling it to SeQuential), have argued they'll need the water to meet the state's biofuels mandate should it pass. The interesting thing is that drawing more water from the Columbia also reduces flow rates through the Bonneville Dam, which is being used currently to integrate wind farms into the regional electrical grid. That could create problems for the proposed renewable energy standard which would mostly be met through wind resources. Oh, how to solve this pickle of a problem?

Capital Press: Supporters say tapping Columbia helps farmers

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