Yakima Basin Water Supply - March Forecast Released

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Chuck Garner, (509) 575-5848 ext. 205

For Release: March 05, 2012

The Bureau of Reclamation's March 2012, Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights.

"We are expecting a near to above normal water supply at this time," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "The February snowfall was well below average until late in the month when it surged to above average." At this time both junior and senior water rights holders are expected to receive their full water supply. The water supply forecast will be updated each month through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year when the reservoir system's storage begins to decline.

The March TWSA forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 1 along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.

"The Yakima basin weather outlook is favorable and the current reservoir system storage is very healthy at 133 percent of average. We expect the reservoirs to fill and the runoff to provide for early season demands." said Chuck Garner. "If spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable we still expect an adequate supply but it may be below average." He advises all water users in the Yakima basin to use their water prudently.

For more information visit our website at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima

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