The Benton Irrigation District (BID) serves the irrigation needs of Benton County, Washington in and around Benton City.

BID has 68.9 percent non prorated water and 31.1 percent prorated water.

BID supplies water to 4,630 acres of irrigable land within the district. Each irrigable acre receives 3.38 acre feet which equates to 15,623 acres feet coming through the river pump station. BID’s water is diverted from the Yakima River.

BID is a governmental entity and is not privately owned or operated for profit. It is operated by the landowners of the district for their mutual benefit. Washington State’s irrigation districts operate under Title 87 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Benton Irrigation District is located in Benton County, Washington, approximately 20 miles west of the cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, known as the Tri-Cities. BID was organized on October 7, 1912 as the Sunnyside Irrigation District (SID).

Sunnyside Irrigation District entered into a contract in 1914 with the United States government to construct irrigation facilities and supply water from the United States Reclamation Service’s Yakima Project. An extension of the existing Sunnyside Canal supplied the water. Construction was completed in May of 1915 and water deliveries began a month later, in June of 1915.

  • In 1945, a Board of Control was formed to operate and maintain the common facilities of the Sunnyside Division of the Yakima Project. The Board of Control is comprised of all the entities that receive water from the common facilities, including Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID) and Sunnyside (now Benton) Irrigation Districts and a number of other irrigation districts, ditch companies, cities, and Special Warren Act Lands. SVID was appointed the operating agent of the common facilities in 1946.
  • In 1962, with its facilities approaching 50 years of age, SID began a program that replaced four siphons and two flumes on the main canal, began piping selected sections of the distribution system, and installed a main canal waste way.
  • On September 6, 1966, the District changed its name from Sunnyside Irrigation District to Benton Irrigation District (BID). The last major improvements were completed to the system in 1967.
  • In 1998, BID sought and was approved for participation in the first phase of the Yakima River Basin Water Conservation Program under Phase 2 of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP). The project is funded primarily by state and federal money under a 1994 federal law designed to help irrigators be more efficient and improve habitat for fish.

In 2009, BID  began a five-year, $37.9 million improvement project that will modernize the irrigation system, which will help farmers and yield benefits throughout the irrigation District. The district will install an enclosed pipe system to reduce seepage, evaporation, and maintenance. A major part of this improvement will include moving the current diversion from Sunnyside Dam at Parker, south of Union Gap, to Benton City. This will allow the BID water allotment to flow down the Yakima River to Benton City, increasing the river flows.

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