After the drought left farmers and homeowners frustrated last summer many wondered why we couldn't pull more water out of the Columbia River. A news analysis of proposed bills gives a disturbing insight into the process.

Local lawmakers are sponsoring bills in the Washington legislature to allow more water to be sold out of the Columbia River.

But the Sunnyside newspaper asked some of those lawmakers what the chances of it passing were. And the answer wasn't encouraging!

Why not?

Apparently policymakers cannot agree on how the profits from the sale of the water would be used, and therefore a coalition to approve the sale cannot be formed!

You got that right, eastern Washington can't have more water because we can't agree on how the profits would be spent!

The nitty gritty is about politics in the Yakima Valley. Since the Yakima is part of the Columbia watershed, the valley qualifies to receive funding from the sale of water out of the Columbia proper. But the Yakima Valley isn't a very big area, so investment there is considered foolish by farmers elsewhere along the Columbia.

For reasons I'm unaware of, even the Yakama Nation in the Yakima Valley is opposed.

People who really need the water are hoping to see pressure from the governor, since legislators cannot agree.

Christian Delbert