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An Overview of Kennewick's Rivers
Clumped together in the south east-central desert region of the state of Washington, you will find the renowned Tri-Cities—comprised of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco—situated at the merging, or confluence, of the Columbia River, Snake River, and Yakima River.
These three rivers play an important role in the lifeblood of the Tri-Cities communities, from their nature and beauty to energy and irrigation to recreational activities and attractions. In fact, the Tri-Cities area has also been nicknamed “Three Rivers,” although the name is rarely used for reasons beyond the professional.
For those considering real estate options in the Tri-Cities area, it is important to understand the involvement the rivers have with these cities and how they are connected to everyday Tri-Cities life.
“The Mighty Columbia” flows through parts of B.C., Canada, and into Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., and is the largest river in volume flowing into the Pacific Ocean from the Western Hemisphere. It is right behind the Mississippi River in volume for all North American rivers.
The river, named after the Columbia Rediviva, the ship of Captain Robert Gray (the first to journey up the river), is also renowned as North America’s largest hydroelectric power-producing river.
The Columbia’s main as well as largest tributary, the Snake River, flows for more than 1,000 miles in the western part of the U.S., from close to the Continental Divide in Yellowstone National Park, through Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, ending when it hits the Columbia near Tri-Cities’ Pasco.
The Yakima River, named after the Yakima indigenous peoples, is another tributary emptying into the Columbia River in east Washington, near Richland of the Tri-Cities, with headwaters in Keechelus Lake.
Irrigation is not a problem at all for the Tri-Cities. Because of the nearby rivers, irrigation is abundant, cheap, and hassle-free. All three rivers, with their abundance of freshwater—especially the Columbia, with its extremely large water volume—provide Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco with large of amounts of available cheap irrigation.
In fact, the availability of easily accessible irrigation may even convince someone to purchase real estate in the Tri-Cities.
In addition, the powerful merging of three mighty rivers—particularly the Columbia—mixed with the boastfully mild climate and sunny skies has created a major center for hydroelectric power and other energy (such as wind and solar) sources in the Tri-Cities.
You can visit The Hanford Site, the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science & Technology Museum, as well as Energy Northwest’s Nine Canyon Wind Farm Visitor Centers to get a feel for this energy and expand your knowledge of alternative energy sources.
Looking for something exciting or relaxing to do associated with Tri-Cities’ three rivers? Try some of the many options for water sports and recreational activities such as boating—both power and pleasure—fishing, kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing, and more. The Columbia River also hosts hydroplane races every year at Kennewick’s Water Follies held at Columbia Park.
The many attractions near the three rivers is another major drawing feature of Tri-Cities. You can try the Sacajawea Trail, visit the Columbia Park along the Columbia River’s shoreline, the Yakima River’s delta and wetlands, the Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve, and the Hanford Reach.
The three main rivers of the Tri-Cities are fascinating and unique, and offer much to these three growing and thriving communities.
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