In 1994, a group of landowners approached the state’s fifth and sixth largest irrigation districts and suggested forming a joint committee to begin addressing similar concerns of both districts. The Roza-Sunnyside Board of Joint Control (RSBOJC) is the realization of an idea developed by the landowner group.
After successfully getting enabling legislation passed, the landowner group petitioned the Board of County Commissioners in the county of jurisdiction to form the RSBOJC. The petition was followed by a public hearing process, after which the county commissioners approved the petition. The “Yakima County Board of Joint Control #1” was approved August 13, 1996.
- The first directors of the RSBOJC were appointed by the county commissioners.
- The Roza-Sunnyside Board of Joint Control is composed of the five Roza Irrigation District Directors, five Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District Directors, and two members from other entities in the Sunnyside Division.
- The board of directors of each irrigation district thereafter designate a person or persons to represent them on the RSBOJC.
- RSBOJC is an umbrella entity created to plan, implement and administer joint projects and/or programs of the Roza Irrigation District and the Sunnyside Division Board of Control.
The RSBOJC’s mission is to “implement a program to enhance water supplies by supporting storage development, improving water quality, and increasing management efficiency". The RSBOJC’s goal is to achieve the following within ten years:
- System improvements such as canal automation, regulatory reservoirs, and J/B enclosed conduit delivery systems and additional storage which will protect existing rights while providing higher quality and more reliable irrigation service to Sunnyside Division landowners
- Water savings sufficient to support the goal of furnishing at a minimum, 75% of entitlement to Roza Irrigation District landowners in all years
- Compliance with the total maximum daily load process for return flows discharging from lands under Roza-Sunnyside Board of Joint Control jurisdiction
Advantages of Larger Economies of Scale
A Board of Joint Control provides a structure for the two entities to combine resources where it is appropriate, feasible, and to the advantage of both, while maintaining their separate respective authorities and responsibilities.
- Pooled equipment utilization
- Coordinated participation in Yakima Basin planning
- Administration of joint drains
- Shared employees
- Could upgrade existing facilities
- Avoid duplication
- Protection of water rights
- Combined, represents the third largest irrigation entity in the state
- Joint water conservation plan
- Coordinated approach to water management
- Coordinated education of internal and external audiences
Low Immediate Costs, Long-Term Improvements
- Minimal administrative costs related to the Roza-Sunnyside Board of Joint Control are the responsibility of the participating entities.
- At such time as specific projects or programs are proposed, cost sharing formulas will be agreed upon by each member entity.
- The long-term goal of the Roza-Sunnyside Board of Joint Control is to reduce expenses and provide the best possible management of water resources at the lowest reasonable cost.
Still Two Separate, Distinct Irrigation Districts
A Board of Joint Control allows Roza Irrigation District and the Sunnyside Division to work together in ways that they have not been able to before--without changing the structure of either entity. The Sunnyside Division serves 103,570 irrigable acres. Roza Irrigation District serves 72,600.