The Bureau of Reclamation is out with it’s July Total water Supply Available Forecast for the Yakima Basin, and things look good. This month’s report indicated a full water supply available for senior and junior water rights holders this irrigation season. This is an improvement from last month’s report which indicated junior water rights holders would get 96%.
Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline.
“The basin started using reservoir storage on June 11 to help meet basin irrigation and instream flow demands. This is about 10 days earlier than normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “Although the overall supply is adequate, the reservoir carry-over at the end of the season is likely to be below normal.”
This forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of July 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.
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