Yakima Basin Water Supply - March Forecast

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322

For Release: March 08, 2018

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2018 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates the water supply will fully satisfy senior and junior water rights this 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 have above normal storage right now.”

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.

The March TWSA 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 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.

“The snowpack is also looking very good right now considering the trend in the first half of February when the hills were not gaining, but losing snowpack,” says Garner.

If 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.