News Release Archive

Yakima Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study Open House

Media Contact: Norbert Ries, (509) 575-5848 ext. 203, 04/15/2004 06:00
Kim McCartney, (509) 575-5848 ext. 370,

For Release: April 15, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation will provide citizens with information about the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Study which includes the potential Black Rock reservoir at several open house meetings.

Reclamation staff will be on hand to explain the storage study and to answer questions and concerns about the issues related to the study. The public will have an opportunity to talk with specialists involved in the study and to examine visual displays and handouts.

The meeting will be conducted in facilities that meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those requiring special accommodations to participate may contact Kim McCartney, Storage Study Manager, at (509) 575-5848 ext. 370, at least one week in advance so arrangements can be made.

Each open house will run from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. These are the dates and locations for each open house:

April 27 Ellensburg Central Washington University SUB 214, Yakama Room 400 East University Way Ellensburg, Washington

April 28 Tri Cities Columbia Basin College Gjerde Multipurpose Center 2600 North 20th Avenue Pasco, Washington

April 29 Yakima Yakima Arboretum 1401 Arboretum Drive Yakima, Washington


The purpose of the study is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of increasing water storage within the Yakima River basin to benefit people, farms and fish. Specific objectives of the proposed water storage study are to:

Analyze the diversion of Columbia River water to the Yakima River Basin using the potential Black Rock Reservoir.

Improve the management of the Yakima Project to achieve a more natural flow to enhance fisheries.

Provide a more reliable water supply for existing water users with junior water rights. Supply additional water for future municipal demands.


The lack of a reliable water supply in dry years, and the listing of several fish as threatened or endangered, has caused concern about the future management of Yakima Basin water. This resulted in local efforts to resolve water supply issues and in Congress authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct a feasibility study. Following recommendations by the Governor's Task Force on Water Storage, the Washington Legislature appropriated $4 million in 2003 for the state Department of Ecology to participate as a cost-share partner in the study.

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