Reclamation announces Yakima basin water supply - April forecast

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

For Release: April 04, 2019

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s April 2019 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima basin indicates the water supply will fully satisfy senior water rights, while the junior water rights will receive an estimated 77 percent of their entitlements this irrigation season.

“March precipitation fell short of expectations and has reduced the water supply,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The Yakima basin reservoir storage is currently 78 percent of average, and the snowpack is 75 percent of average.”

Reclamation will provide water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will be determined later in the year after reservoir storage is released to meet demands.

The April 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 snowmelt and the demand for water also are critical in determining streamflows, prorations and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.

“We have seen many years where April 1 conditions were below normal, but the basin water conditions improved in the spring,” says Garner.

Because longer term weather conditions can be unpredictable, Garner recommends water conservation always be a part of water usage in the Yakima basin.

For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at

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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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