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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
John Redding
208-378-5212
Kate Puckett
509-575-5848 Ext. 205

Released On: May 07, 2004

Reclamation Releases Yakima Water Supply Forecast
The Bureau of Reclamation has just released the May 2004 forecast for irrigation water supply according to David Murillo, Yakima Project Manager. The forecast is based on flow data, current snowpack and this year's precipitation data.

The May 2004 forecast indicates a full water supply for senior water right users and a 70 percent supply for junior water right users. The tight water supply will result in low carryover at the end of the 2004 season. Current system storage is 74 percent of capacity and 94 percent of average.

Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later this month. In all conditions listed below, senior water rights holders would receive their full water supply. Estimated water supplies for junior (proratable) users, given a range of future precipitation, are as follows:

50% of normal future precipitation – 65% supply for junior users

70% of normal future precipitation – 70% supply for junior users

100% of normal future precipitation – 76% supply for junior users

The Bureau of Reclamation will announce the adopted rationing level when it is actually implemented. Irrigation districts and water users are urged to apply their own judgment in deciding which level of supply may be realized. Water demands requiring storage releases, even prior to storage control, may be charged to the users' total entitlement. The water supply can be improved through prudent use of water.

Future precipitation is only one factor affecting the water supply. The weather conditions that determine the timing of the run-off and demand for water are critical in determining whether the reservoirs fill, the amount of water available for irrigation, and rationing levels. If warm, dry weather persists conditions could worsen.

Reservoir Storage on May 7

Reservoir

Content (acre-ft)

Total Capacity

% of Capacity

Keechelus

120,232

157,800

76

Kachess

156,820

239,000

66

Cle Elum

321,442

436,900

74

Bumping

34,490

33,700

102

Rimrock

159,076

198,000

80

Totals

792,060

1,065,400

74

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