News Release Archive

Yakima Basin Water Supply March Forecast

Media Contact: Michael Williamson , (208) 378-5212,
Chuck Garner, (509) 575-5848,

For Release: March 07, 2016

YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2016 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that there will be a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights this coming irrigation season.

“We are currently expecting the water supply to be near normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The reservoirs have been filling nicely throughout the winter and are above normal right now and the snowpack is near normal for this time of year.”

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.

This forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 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.

“We expect the reservoirs to fill and the spring runoff to provide for early season demands,” Garner said. “We are grateful to have the March water conditions that we have this year.”

In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation still expects an adequate supply. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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