News Release Archive

Yakima Basin Water Supply - May Forecast Released

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

For Release: May 04, 2015

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation's May 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2015 irrigation season, but an estimated 47 percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July.

"Water supply conditions did not improve in April and the Yakima basin reservoirs have been used to help meet demands since April 15," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. "This is the second earliest date on record that we’ve started using storage to meet demands."

The May TWSA forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of April 15, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that help determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.

"Snow pack is at an all-time low and natural stream flows are near what we'd normally expect in June or early July," Garner said.

In the event that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, Reclamation expects the water supply available for junior users to decline. Since longer term weather conditions are unpredictable, Garner recommends that water conservation be considered by all users in the Yakima Basin.

For more information, visit our website at

# # #

The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.

Relevant Link: