Yakima Basin Water Supply - May Forecast

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322, 05/08/2017 13:00

For Release: May 08, 2017

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s May 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.

“We are looking at another robust forecast for the Yakima Basin water supply for the 2017 season,” 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 May 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 and snow accumulation in the Yakima Basin have been above average the last three months and made up for the deficit we were facing at the end of January,” said Garner. “Unregulated runoff has been strong and should meet most of the water demands well into June.”

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.

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