Yakima Basin Water Supply - April Forecast

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322, aross@usbr.gov

For Release: April 06, 2017

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s April 2017 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that the water supply will fully satisfy senior and junior water rights this irrigation season.

“The overall Yakima Basin water supply has strong fundamentals right now; decent reservoir storage, a solid snowpack, and a well recharged ground water component,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor.

Reclamation will provide 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 April 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining streamflows, prorations, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.

“Precipitation in the last two months has made up for most of the shortfall earlier in the winter,” Garner said. “Snowmelt timing, summer weather, and irrigation demands are still important unknown factors that can influence streamflow levels and the carryover storage at the end of the season.”

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

For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima.

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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 https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima