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Washington Drought Watch 2016

Last revised: July 28, 2016

Watching the water supply

After a few weeks of cool and wet weather, temperatures are heating up around the state.  We can thank the “Jultober” conditions we experienced for reducing water demand and improving our statewide water supplies, which continue to be in good shape.

Here’s a look at water supply conditions as of July 28:

Status of supplies

Weather impacts | If late June and early July felt cooler than usual to you, you’re not wrong.  Average statewide temperatures for the last month were within 2 degrees of normal, with most of the state below normal.  Precipitation has been mixed, depending on the part of the state.  The north Olympic Peninsula has been drier than normal while the eastern slope of the Cascades and southeast Washington have been wetter than normal.  Record daily rainfalls were recorded recently in Seattle, Kennewick and near Walla Walla. Flash flooding even caused some road closures in Chelan and Douglas counties.

Rivers and streams | Rivers are naturally at their lowest flows during summer.  As of today, 24 percent of our rivers are below normal. At this time last year, we were at 80 percent.

Agriculture | The Yakima Basin, our drought bellwether, continues to have a good water supply.  Junior water users are being pro-rated to 90 percent of full supply. Last year, it was 47 percent.

Drinking water | Drinking water supplies in Seattle, Tacoma and Everett are in good shape.  Contact your local municipal water system to learn more.

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2014-15 Drought: Groundwater Level/Storage Response in Washington State

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