Umatilla County, Oregon 1922


The Umatilla Rapids Project is one of the great prospective development enterprises of the West. It has been sponsored by Umatilla County men and is of especial interest to the county because the proposed power site is at Umatilla Rapids of the Columbia River, which borders the county on the north. The project calls for a dam that will raise the level of the Columbia River thirty feet at low water. By means of the dam and proposed power plant hydro-electric power may be developed in quantities ranging from 125,000 continuous horsepower up to 500,000 horsepower during the irrigation season. With secondary power to be developed during the summer months, when the Columbia is high, a total of 270,000 acres of land within a radius of forty-five miles of the dam may be irrigated. It is proposed to use the surplus power for domestic and industrial purposes and perhaps for railroad electrification. The cost of the project complete would be $25,000,000. An engineering report on the project has been prepared under the auspices of the Umatilla Rapids Power Site Association, the state engineer of Oregon and the corresponding department in the State of Washington. Those interested in the project believe it will be developed sooner or later and are hopeful, of early action, provided the Federal government passes legislation calling for reclamation work upon a broad scale. The Umatilla Rapids Project is classed by engineers as the most feasible project on the Columbia for early development.

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