The Bureau of Reclamation’s April supply forecast indicates there will be enough water to fully satisfy senior and junior water rights this irrigation season in the Yakima Basin.
“The water supply outlook is very good right now,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “Even though the mountains received low amounts of precipitation in March, the snowpack is just a little below normal and the reservoirs have above normal storage.”
The forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of April 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining streamflows, prorations, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.
“The conditions should lead to full reservoirs and good flow conditions this spring and summer,” said Garner.
If spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation still expects an adequate supply.
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