- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) - A group of agricultural operators who farm near the Columbia River have filed suit against the federal government over an irrigation water contract.

The Capital Press agricultural publication reports (https://bit.ly/1GQEvct ) the suit was filed earlier this week by the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The association says the government is holding up construction of an irrigation pipeline by delaying the issuing of a water service contract.

The $42 million, privately funded pipeline would deliver river water to roughly 70,000 acres of farmland north of Interstate 90 in the Odessa, Washington area. Farms in that area rely on well water for irrigation, but the groundwater is running out.

The agency declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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