According to the Bureau of Reclamation there should be enough water to meet senior and junior water rights holders in the Yakima Basin this year. The May 2018 Total Water Supply Available forecast indicates there will be enough water for all water rights this irrigation season.
“April’s water supply indicators, precipitation (192% of average), snowpack (near average), and reservoir storage (117% of average) are each very healthy right now,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The Yakima Basin water supply for the 2018 season will be ample to meet demands this spring and summer.”
Reclamation will provide water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline. This forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of May 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 recent warm weather has brought on some early snowmelt and increased natural flows, both very normal for this time of year,” Garner said.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail email@example.com