Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom Reclamation Newsroom Channel http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49328 Reclamation Awards 2015 Water Conservation Field Services Program Grants
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, ranging from $11,940 to $25,000. The Program provides technical and financial assistance to encourage water conservation on Reclamation Projects by assisting irrigation districts to develop and implement water conservation plans, and to foster improved water management. <P> The grants require a 50 percent or better cost-share. Eligible activities include water management planning, such as updating or developing a water conservation plan, and implementing water conservation projects ? piping and lining canals, installing water measurement and automating gates. Examples of 2015 funding recipients include: <P> <ul> <li>Riverside Irrigation District in Parma, Idaho, will design, purchase, and install an automated water control gate and related operation and control equipment at the Centennial Park site near Caldwell, Idaho. This improvement is on the Boise Project in Idaho and will save an estimated 1,400 acre-feet of water per year. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward a total project cost of $67,869.</li> <P> <li>Roza Irrigation District in Sunnyside, Washington, will reduce canal seepage by sealing 900 feet of the Roza Main Canal. Conserved water will remain in the Yakima River to augment instream flows. This improvement is estimated to conserve 39 acre-feet of water annually. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward this $51,589 project. </li> <P> <li>North Unit Irrigation District in Madras, Oregon, will construct a ramp flume in the North Unit Main Canal immediately downstream from both the outlet of Haystack Dam and the Haystack bypass channel. Improved water measurement will allow the District to fully automate releases from Haystack Reservoir resulting in a water savings of up to 3,571 acre feet per year. Reclamation will provide $25,000 toward the total project cost of $115,958.</li> </ul> <P> To learn more about the Water Conservation Field Services Program visit: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/wat/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/wat/ </a>. For information on the WCFSP application process and award process and criteria visit: <a href="https://www.cfda.gov/index?s=program&mode=form&tab=core&id=048846ed8a50e8ce7b7e3993fae2b892">https://www.cfda.gov/index?s=program&amp;mode=form&amp;tab=core&amp;id=048846ed8a50e8ce7b7e3993fae2b892</a></a>. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49327 Yakima Basin Water Supply Mid-May Forecast
YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation's mid-May 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 44% percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July. <P> "The rain storm in the Yakima Basin last week did help the water supply but the precipitation for the first part of May was never the less below average at our reservoirs," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> The Mid-May TWSA forecast is based on observed and estimated flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage for April 15 to September 30. 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 storage available in the reservoirs. <P> If spring precipitation and runoff continue to be unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline further. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima</a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49308 Bureau of Reclamation Monitoring Seep near I-90
MOSES LAKE, Washington – The Bureau of Reclamation is monitoring water seeping along I-90 near the Weber Siphon, after being notified by the Washington Department of Transportation. The area is near the location where two concrete pipes run underneath I-90 and transport water for irrigation purposes. <P> “Reclamation is monitoring the site and taking protective measures. The seep is minor, and at this time does not pose a threat to I-90 or to the frontage road,” said Brandt Demars, Program Manager for Construction Engineering. “The East Low Canal remains fully operational and irrigation flows have not been affected.” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49307 Reclamation Signs Memorandum of Agreement for Advancement of Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange Concept
LEWISTON, Idaho -- On May 1 the Bureau of Reclamation, together with the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Nez Perce Tribe, signed a Memorandum of Agreement that advances the Lewiston Orchards Project Water Exchange Concept, which involves replacing the use of existing surface water with a potential alternate source. <P> Reclamation's Lewiston Orchards Project, operated and maintained by LOID, derives its water from the Craig Mountain watershed, providing a highly variable water supply from year to year. Surface water diversions from Webb and Sweetwater Creeks have historically dewatered the downstream reaches, impacting steelhead listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. <P> "This is an important step forward for the water exchange concept," said Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager for Reclamation. "Working together, we will aim to solve water and fish issues in the Sweetwater and Webb Creek Basins." <P> The parties to the MOA are working together to identify a path forward in resolving long standing issues related to water supply reliability, steelhead listed under the ESA and protection of tribal cultural and natural resources. The primary focus of the agreement is to continue efforts to complete a water exchange project as a comprehensive solution to these complex issues associated with operation and maintenance of the LOID system. <P> Reclamation and LOID are investigating the use of multiple groundwater wells to provide the Lewiston Orchards Project with an alternative water supply to the current surface water withdrawals on land adjacent to and within the Nez Perce Reservation. This will benefit the Snake River steelhead as well as other important cultural resources for the Nez Perce Tribe. <P> "This is a much-needed project, based on a strong regional partnership, with particularly impressive progress over the last year," said outgoing Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Silas Whitman. "It is increasingly clear, based on the project's comprehensive benefits, that it deserves priority consideration for funding and completion in the next few years." <P> Drought conditions in the region this year highlight the need for a permanent solution to the annual variability in water supply for LOID and its patrons. In addition, LOID is facing significant costs in the near future as much of its water conveyance system will require repairs or replacement as it nears the end of its service life. Some features of the project are over 100 years old. <P> "The district sees the MOA as progress in addressing the concerns of our patrons," said LOID Manager Barney Metz. "We are satisfied with the collaborative efforts of this coalition to find a long-term solution to our dwindling water supply." <P> The project also included consultation with the Lower Clearwater Exchange Project partners: City of Lewiston, Nez Perce County, and the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce, in addition to LOID and the Tribe. Mr. Jerry Klemm, chairman of the LCEP partners, spoke at the May 1 meeting in support of the water exchange. <P> For more information about the Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange Concept, please contact: Mr. Ted Day, project manager for Reclamation at 208-383-2222; Mr. Barney Metz, LOID Manager at 208-746-8235; Mr. David Redhorse, natural resource officer for the BIA at 503-231-6791; or Mr. David Johnson, department manager for the Nez Perce Tribe at 208-843-7334. <P> The Lewiston Orchards Project is located near Lewiston, Idaho. Project facilities include Reservoir A (Mann Lake), Soldiers Meadow Reservoir, Lake Waha, four diversion structures, several feeder canals, and a system for distributing irrigation water. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49301 Reclamation Awards $5.86 Million Contract for Turbine Overhaul at Minidoka Dam
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $5.86 million contract May 11 to Alstom Power, Inc., a business based in Littleton, Colorado, to perform turbine overhauls on the Allen E. Inman Powerplant at Minidoka Dam. <P> The two turbines to be serviced have been in operation since 1997. Work could begin as early as Sept. 1 of this year and is scheduled to be completed by April 2017. In addition to worn parts being replaced, work will include the installation of new digital governors. <P> "These overhauls at the Allen E. Inman Powerplant are essential to maintaining the turbines at this hydropower facility," said Regional Director Lorri Lee. "Regular maintenance will ensure continued, reliable service to our power customers." <P> Minidoka Dam was originally completed in 1907, with its first powerplant added three years later. The <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Minidoka+Powerplant">Allen E. Inman Powerplant </a> was added in 1997, with two 10-megawatt horizontal shaft turbines. The Minidoka Dam Spillway has been reconstructed over the last several years and will be completed this spring. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49299 Minidoka Dam Spillway Completion Ceremony Open to the Public
HEYBURN, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation invites the public and the irrigation community to join in celebration of the new Minidoka Dam Spillway at 10:30 a.m. May 27. Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López, visiting from Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker. <P> The event not only marks completion of a four year construction effort to modernize and straighten the spillway, and replace two irrigation headworks, but also signals a re-opening of recreation areas below the dam to the public. <P> The ceremony will be held in front of the new control gates on the dam's south side. A dozen large U.S. flags will adorn the control gates during the event. <P> "The original Minidoka Dam was one of the earliest and most successful dams built by Reclamation. Today, it's a modern structure that will continue to bring prosperity and reliable water supplies to the area," says Jerry Gregg, Snake River Area Manager. <P> In November 2011, Reclamation began construction of the replacement spillway and two irrigation headworks for the Burley and Minidoka Irrigation Districts. Over the next four years, construction crews straightened out the spillway, added 12 radial control gates and eliminated an aging "stop-log" water control system. Total cost for the construction project is approximately $24 million. The Burley and Minidoka Irrigation Districts funded 42 percent of the cost. <P> "Our construction division is ready to turn over the keys to our dam operators," says Gregg. "It's a new spillway that's ready for operation for another century." With the completion of the dam, many traditional fishing and wading areas that were closed to the public during construction will now be available. Recreation zones are clearly marked on signs in the public parking area, and dam managers advise the public to be safe. <P> "The public should be careful walking in the access areas. Be aware of slippery rock surfaces and the potential for water releases from the spillway," said Minidoka Dam Facility Manager Phil Calogero. <P> For maps to the May 27 event site and recreational access below the spillway visit: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/minidokadam/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/minidokadam/ </a>. <P> Minidoka Dam was constructed in 1906 as part of the Minidoka Project, and is operated as one of six storage facilities on the Snake and Henrys Fork rivers. The multipurpose project provides irrigation, power production, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49275 Final EIS for the Cle Elum Pool Raise Project Released
YAKIMA, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecology have completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cle Elum Pool Raise Project (CEPR), which is being released in anticipation of its formal filing with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 15, 2015. The CEPR is a component of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan (Integrated Plan). <P> The Final EIS was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Washington State Environmental Policy Act. The Final EIS evaluates four alternatives to increase the capacity of the reservoir by modifying the radial gates, providing shoreline protection and environmental mitigation, in addition to the No Action Alternative. Public comments received on the Draft EIS are responded to in the Final EIS. <P> Reclamation and Ecology have identified Alternative 3, Additional Storage Capacity for Instream Flow with Hybrid Shoreline Protection, as the Preferred Alternative. Under Alternative 3, Reclamation would improve instream flows in the lower Cle Elum River and in downstream reaches of the Yakima River. The Cle Elum Pool Raise Project is authorized under Title XII of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 1994 also known as the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project Phase II. Alternative 3 would also employ a hybrid shoreline protection strategy. <P> "This is an important milestone for the Cle Elum Pool Raise Project and the Yakima Integrated Plan," Columbia-Cascades Area Manager Dawn Wiedmeier said. "Reclamation looks forward to continuing to partner with Ecology on this and other Integrated Plan projects." <P> The NEPA process concludes with a Record of Decision (ROD) which may be issued by Reclamation 30 days after publication in the Federal Register by the EPA. The ROD documents Reclamation's decision on the proposed action and describes the rationale used in making the decision. <P> Copies of the document have been mailed to those who have requested one, as well as area Tribes and local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, copies are available at Reclamation and Ecology offices, and local libraries. Copies of the report may be obtained by calling (509) 575-5848, ext. 232, or at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/cleelumraise/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/cleelumraise/index.html </a>. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49274 Snake River Flows Increasing to Benefit Native Fish
HEYBURN, Idaho -- The Bureau of Reclamation will incrementally increase flow in the Snake River below Palisades Dam on May 11 to reach about 19,000 cubic feet per second on May 15. The flow will increase about 10 percent each night until the maximum is reached. The public is asked to use caution when recreating on or near the river as the water will be cold and fast during the high flow period. <P> Beginning May 18, flow will be reduced by 5 percent each day until a seasonal norm of about 13,000 cfs is reached. <P> "The peak of natural river flow is earlier than usual this year," said Michael Beus, Water Operations Manager for Reclamation's Upper Snake Field Office. "The objective is to provide the highest flow of the season to benefit native Yellowstone cutthroat trout at the same time natural snow melt peaks." <P> High flow in springtime helps balance the populations of native and non-native trout in the Snake River between Palisades Dam and the mouth of the Henrys Fork, and aids Idaho Department of Fish and Game management efforts. <P> Since the increased flow is timed to coincide with natural inflow, little, if any water already stored in Palisades Reservoir will be released. The water will be captured in American Falls Reservoir or delivered to water users downstream. <P> Current river and reservoir data are available at: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/uppersnake/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/uppersnake/ </a>. For more information about Reclamation programs, visit <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/ </a>. <P> The dams operated by Reclamation's Upper Snake Field Office are located on the Snake River and its tributaries upstream of Milner, Idaho. Palisades Dam is about 55 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho; American Falls Dam is near American Falls, Idaho; and Minidoka Dam is about 12 miles northeast of Rupert, Idaho. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49259 Upper Snake Flows Increase May 11 to Benefit Salmon and Steelhead
HEYBURN, Idaho – Snake River flow below Milner Dam will gradually increase from no flow to 2,000 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 11. This flow is expected to be maintained through early June. The purpose of the flow increase is to provide additional water for salmon migration in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers in accordance with NOAA Fisheries 2008 Upper Snake Biological Opinion, under the Endangered Species Act. <P> The flow will continue down the river below Milner Dam and pass over Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, Idaho. The public is asked to use caution when recreating on or near the river as the water will be cold and fast. <P> Current river and reservoir data are available at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/uppersnake/. For more information about Reclamation programs, visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/. <P> The dams operated by Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office are located on the Snake River and its tributaries upstream of Milner, Idaho. Palisades Dam is about 55 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho; American Falls Dam is near American Falls, Idaho; and Minidoka Dam is about 12 miles northeast of Rupert, Idaho. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49258 Yakima Basin Water Supply - May Forecast Released
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's May 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 47 percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July. <P> "Water supply conditions did not improve in April and the Yakima basin reservoirs have been used to help meet demands since April 15," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "This is the second earliest date on record that we’ve started using storage to meet demands." <P> The May TWSA forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of April 15, 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. <P> "Snow pack is at an all-time low and natural stream flows are near what we'd normally expect in June or early July," Garner said. <P> In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima </a> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49257 Jackson Lake Dam Operations Information Meeting
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation will host a meeting to present streamflow forecasts and projected reservoir operations for Jackson Lake Dam and other Snake River reservoirs May 13. The meeting will be held at the Antler Inn Conference Room, 43 West Pearl Street, in Jackson, Wyoming, beginning at 7:30 p.m. <P> Snow accumulation above Jackson Lake Dam has been below average since January and the April 1 forecast for snowmelt runoff was 78 percent of normal. Jackson Lake storage was 84 percent of capacity May 1, and it is expected that Jackson Lake will fill in late May. <P> “Nearly 132,000 acre-feet of reservoir space in Jackson Lake Dam is available as of May 1,” said Mike Beus, Reclamation Water Operations manager. “That should be enough space to avoid high releases from the dam and successfully fill Jackson Lake. The runoff volume predicted this year is low, and flood flows immediately below Jackson Lake are unlikely. Due to drought conditions, there is a potential that water may be released from Jackson Lake to downstream reservoirs throughout the irrigation season to meet irrigation demand.” <P> The meeting facility is accessible to people with disabilities. Please contact Don Bowden at (208) 678-0461, ext. 13 for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired or other auxiliary aids. <P> Current river and reservoir data are available at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/uppersnake/. For more information regarding Reclamation programs, visit Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region website at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/. <P> Jackson Lake Dam is located on the Snake River near Moran, Wyoming. The dam is part of the Minidoka Project and was originally constructed in 1911. Parts of the dam were later replaced in 1989 under authority of Reclamation's Safety of Dams Act. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49248 Hungry Horse Dam Visitor Center Summer Schedule
HUNGRY HORSE, Mont. - The Bureau of Reclamation announces the opening of the Hungry Horse Dam Visitor Center for the 2015 summer season beginning May 17. <P> The visitor center will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 12. Exhibits about the history of Hungry Horse Dam and its importance to the Federal Columbia River Power System are featured. <P> Hungry Horse dam is located off Highway 2 in Hungry Horse. Follow the signs just past the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Forest Service building to the visitor center. From Highway 2, travel approximately 4½ miles to the visitor center located at the north end of the dam. <P> For more information, call (406) 387-5241 x347 or visit: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hungryhorse/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hungryhorse/index.html </a>. <P> Hungry Horse Dam stands 564 feet tall and was completed in 1953. It is located on the south fork of the Flathead River, 15 miles south of the west entrance to Glacier National Park and 20 miles northeast of Kalispell. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49234 Boise River Flows Set to Increase May 1
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will be increasing flows from Lucky Peak Dam on May 1 and 2. This is to provide additional water for salmon migration in the lower Snake and Columbia rivers in accordance with NOAA Fisheries' 2008 Upper Snake Biological Opinion. <P> Currently, the Boise River flow is approximately 700 cubic feet per second at the Glenwood Bridge gauging station. On Friday this flow will be increased approximately 500 cfs, with an additional 200 cfs increase on Saturday. By the end of Saturday flows will be approximately 1,400 cfs through the city of Boise. <P> The public is asked to use caution when recreating on or near the river as flows will be higher than in recent weeks and water temperatures are still very cold. <P> Flows will remain at these higher levels through most of May, with a return to normal mid-summer irrigation levels of about 700 cfs near the end of the month. <P> This release of stored water from Lucky Peak Reservoir will not affect Reclamation's ability to meet its water delivery obligations. <P> For real-time Boise River flow information, visit Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region Hydromet website: <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html</a> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49233 Media Advisory: Kachess and Keechelus Projects EIS Public Meetings
Who: Bureau of Reclamation, and Washington State Department of Ecology, Office of Columbia River <P> What: Informational presentations and open houses have been scheduled regarding the January 2015, Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant and Keechelus Reservoir-to-Kachess Reservoir Conveyance (KDRPP/KKC) Projects. These meetings are scheduled to complement the reopening of a 60-day public comment period that began April 15 and closes June 15, 2015. <P> Public comments on the KDRPP/KKC Draft EIS must be submitted by June 15 to the Bureau of Reclamation, Attention: Candace McKinley, 1917 Marsh Road, Yakima, WA 98901-2058, by fax to 509-454-5650, or by email to kkbt@usbr.gov. <P> When: <P> May 4: Hal Holmes Center in Ellensburg, 1:30-3:30 p.m. & 5-7 p.m. <P> May 5: U.S. Forest Service Ranger District office in Cle Elum, 1:30-3:30 p.m. & 5-7 p.m. <P> Content at the four meetings will be the same. A presentation will begin at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at both locations, followed by an open house. <P> Why: The purposes of these projects are to help restore and enhance instream flows and aquatic habitat for fish; improve water supply reliability during drought years; improve the ability of water managers to respond and adapt to potential effects of climate change for agricultural, municipal, and domestic needs; and contribute to the vitality of the regional economy and riverine environment in the Yakima River basin. <P> For more information: <P> <ul> <li><A href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kdrpp/index.html </A> </li> <li><A href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/eis/kkc/index.html </A></li> <li><A href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/yrbwep/2011integratedplan/index.html</A></li> </ul> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49197 Yakima Basin Water Supply - Mid-April Forecast Released
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing a mid-April 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin because of the decline in reservoir storage and low stream flows. The TWSA indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 54 percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July. <P> "The weather conditions forced us to use storage to meet demands starting April 15," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "We had hoped conditions would favor full reservoirs into May and a later start of prorationing." <P> The mid-April TWSA forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of April 15, 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 stream flows, prorationing, and reservoir storage. <P> "The record low snowpack, the cold weather and the low amount of April precipitation caused a decline in the natural flows as well as a decline in the water supply and prorationing," said Garner. <P> Unfavorable spring weather could further reduce prorationing while favorable conditions could improve it. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin. <P> For more information, visit our website at <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima">http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima </a>. <P>