Reclamation Announces July Water Supply Forecast for Yakima Basin

Media Contact: Kate Puckett, 509-575-5848 x205

For Release: July 07, 2003

The July 2003 forecast of the Yakima Basin water supply, based on snowpack, precipitation and flow data available on the first of July, indicates a water supply shortfall for proratable users for the coming irrigation season. Non-proratable users will receive a full supply.

Converting the July through September natural flow runoff forecast to total water supply available (TWSA) for the July through September use period gives the following volumes:

Low 1.281 million acre-ft Adopted 1.321million acre-ft High 1.341 million acre-ft.

Total demand to be placed against this supply for irrigation, regulation, and flows passing Sunnyside Dam averages 2.5 million acre-feet in a normal year.

The total water supply available for irrigation is the sum of natural flow, storage, and return flow less residual storage and flow passing Sunnyside dam. Pro-rationing, which is effective beginning on June 20, will be at the following rate for the proratable users only (Non-proratable users will receive a full supply.): Adopted Prorationing  97 % of full supply.

The Title XII target flow at the Yakima River near Parker gaging station is 300 cfs based on the July 1 forecast. The reduced runoff forecast is due in part to very dry and warm conditions in June 2003 throughout the basin. The actual supply available for the remainder of 2003 could deteriorate further if the dry, warm conditions persist.

Storage conditions as of July 1 were as follows

Reservoir Content (acre-feet) Total Capacity Percent of Capacity Keechelus 61,872 157,8001 39 Kachess 233,605 239,000 98 Cle Elum 409,420 436,900 94 Bumping 33,281 33,700 99 Rimrock 196,532 198,000 99 Totals 934,710 1,065,400 88 1Keechelus capacity is currently restricted to 140,300 acre-feet. Normal capacity is 157,800 acre-feet.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.