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Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District Map

Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District Map (Shaded)

History of QCBID

A massive flood created new river paths across the Pacific Northwest thousands of years ago.  This geological event deposited rich sediments in the Columbia Basin valleys as flood waters receded.

Early settlers began to homestead the Columbia Basin hoping to take advantage of the long growing season and fertile soil.  Sparse rainfall led to the abandonment of many of these early farms as irrigation was either too expensive or difficult to develop.

In 1902, Congress passed the Reclamation Act which authorized the construction of irrigation storage and delivery systems.  This included projects for the Columbia Basin region.  The Columbia Basin Project was set in motion by President Roosevelt and construction of Grand Coulee Dam began in 1933.  A railroad was built to move materials and workers to the building site.  Congress authorized the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project in 1943 and the first water deliveries started in 1948. 

Today, as a result of canal expansion and additional pumping plants, the number of irrigated acres is now over 680,000.  In addition, the Columbia Basin Project provides power for millions of homes, controls flooding in the lower Columbia region, creates habitat for endangered species, and provides areas for recreation.