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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
John Redding
208-738-5212
Kate Puckett
509-575-5848 Ext. 205

Released On: April 06, 2005

Yakima Basin Water Supply Forecast Released
The Bureau of Reclamation has just released the April 2004 forecast for irrigation water supply, according to Kate Puckett, Yakima Project river operations supervisor. The forecast is based on flow data, current snowpack and this year's precipitation data, Puckett said.

The April 2004 forecast indicates a full water supply for senior water right users and an 85 percent supply for junior water right users. "March brought us little rain or snow and we've had relatively warm weather - that certainly degraded our water forecast for the season," Puckett said. The tight water supply will result in low carryover at the end of the 2004 season. Current system storage is 54 percent of capacity and 82 percent of average.

Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year. 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:

With 50 % normal subsequent conditions

75 % supply for junior users

With 80 % normal subsequent conditions

85 % supply for junior users

With 120% normal subsequent conditions

100% supply for junior users

Irrigation districts and water users are urged to apply their own judgement 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.

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 possible rationing levels. If warm, dry weather prompts an early run-off, the situation could worsen.

Reservoir storage on March 1

Reservoir

Content(acre-feet)

Total Capacity

Percent of Capacity

Keechelus

83,972

157,800

53

Kachess

131,658

239,000 

55

Cle Elum

213,332

436,900 

49

Bumping

13,481

33,700 

40

Rimrock

114,357

198,000 

58

Totals

566,800

1,065,400 

52

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