509.837.5141 | P.O. Box 810, Sunnyside, WA 98944

History of the Roza

1919 - 1921

Previous to 1919
This division of the Yakima Project (now the Roza Irrigation District) was included in the area broadly covered by the so-called "Highline Canal". Christian Anderson made surveys in 1912, in the interest of an association covering the whole valley. These surveys contemplated a diversion near Easton, and the irrigation of the Kittitas, Moxee, Roza, and Kennewick Divisions as well as some 140,000 acres between the North Slope of the Rattlesnake Hills and the Columbia River. His scheme was found infeasible due to the limited water supply above Easton and due to the contemplated construction difficulties.

August 1, 1917
The Reclamation Service, under the direction of Mr. C.E. Crownover, made surveys to determine the most feasible plan for development of the lands that could be irrigated by water from the Yakima River and its tributaries. These studies were originally carried on at the expense of the Reclamation Service, and later under contracts with the Kennewick, Moxee, and Roza Divisions.

March 1919
A Board of Engineers definitely decided to divide the so-called "Highline" scheme into the Kennewick, Moxee, Roza, and Kittitas Divisions and to have future studies made on each division separately.

March 8, 1920
A petition was filed with the Yakima County Commissioners to establish the "Yakima-Benton Irrigation District" (now the Roza Irrigation District) comprising some 45,000 acres of land in the Roza Division.

April 16, 1920
After an election was held relative to the proposed district and its proposed Board of Directors, the Yakima County Commissioners declared the District "organized". Further, they declared that H. Lloyd Miller, Ross Morris, and A.D. Patterson were the duly elected Board of Directors.

July 6, 1920
The Yakima-Benton Irrigation District entered into a contract with the U.S. Reclamation Service for further investigation and report on the Roza Division. The district provided $15,000 toward the investigation effort.

July 8, 1921
A storage contract was executed with the Reclamation Service for 285,000-acre feet of water. The U.S.R.S. investigation revealed that the district could serve a total of 72,000 acres by pumping to 27,000 acres of land above the 45,000 acres under the gravity system. They further recommended the district be enlarged to serve all lands contemplated. The district furnished additional funds for more studies, not to exceed $40,000.

1935 - 1951
1961 - 1977
1980 - Present