Yakima Basin Water Supply - April Forecast Released

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322
Chuck Garner, (509) 575-5848 ext. 205

For Release: April 07, 2014

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's April 2014 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that there will be an adequate water supply for both senior and junior water rights this coming irrigation season.

"The water supply should be near normal," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "February and March turned this year's snowpack around. Snowpack in the Yakima River Basin is 98 percent of normal to start off April and the Yakima basin reservoirs' storage is 123 percent of average."

Reclamation will issue 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.

The April TWSA 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 help 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 conditions are good for filling the reservoirs and providing plenty of natural flow to meet most of the demands during the first half of the season," said Chuck Garner. "The snowmelt timing, the summer weather, and the irrigation demands are still important unknown factors that can influence stream flow levels and the carry-over storage at the end of the season."

In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation still expects an adequate supply. Since weather conditions can be unpredictable at times, Garner recommends that water conservation always be a consideration in the Yakima Basin.

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

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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