Reclamation announces Yakima basin water supply - June forecast

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

For Release: June 06, 2019

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s June 2019 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima basin indicates the water supply will fully satisfy senior water rights. Junior water rights will receive an estimated 74% of their entitlements for the period June 3–September 30.

“The snow in the mountains melted close to 3½ weeks earlier than normal. The reservoirs are only about 83% full and filling slowly,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “We expect the reservoirs to stop filling 2–3 weeks earlier than usual and will experience a shortfall.” Garner recommends water conservation always be a part of water usage in the Yakima basin, especially this season with the low water supply.

Reclamation manages the water in the five Yakima Project storage reservoirs, along with the basin’s unregulated inflows to fulfill water rights, water contracts, and instream flow obligations. Water shortages in the basin are shared equally by the junior water rights which represent over half of the water rights in the basin.

Reclamation will provide an updated water supply forecast monthly, at least through July, using the latest data each month to reflect any changing conditions as they develop.

The June forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage as of June 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.

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

# # #

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:

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