A bone-dry canyon south of Kennewick could hold the key to planting more wine grapes and other high value crops along the Columbia River.
Switzler Canyon, an ancient waterway above McNary Dam, could be dammed and turned into a reservoir.
With a capacity of 44,000 acre-feet — the water needed to produce 16.4 million gallons of wine — the reservoir would allow officials to issue new water rights and bolster supplies during dry times.
If built, Switzler Canyon Reservoir would bank water in the spring, when it’s plentiful, and release it in the summer, when it’s not.
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