RELATED ECOLOGY PROGRAM
STORYMAP Washington Drought Response [NOTE: New version web browser required to view]
Last revised: May 22, 2015
Mid-May 2015 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast - The Bureau of Reclamation's mid-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 44% percent supply for junior water rights. Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly or as needed at least through July.
Snowpack statewide is currently at
about 15 percent of normal, ten percent lower than when the last statewide drought was declared in Washington in 2005.
Governor declares statewide drought emergency
Gov Jay Inslee on May 15, 2015, declared a statewide drought emergency. The declaration comes after the governor’s Emergency Water Executive Committee determined that 48 of 62 watersheds in Washington have water supplies of 75 percent of normal or below and water users are experiencing hardships from water shortages or are expected to experience hardships.
Washington has been in a snowpack drought since the governor’s first drought declaration on March 13 for the Yakima and Walla Walla basins and the Dungeness basin on the Olympic Peninsula.
Snowpack is like a frozen reservoir for river basins, in a typical year accumulating over the winter and slowly melting through the spring and summer providing a water supply for rivers and streams. This year run-off from snowmelt for the period April through September is projected to be the lowest on record in the past 64 years.
Water Conservation: It all starts with you
Water Supply Availability Committee (WSAC) May 8 meeting information
Washington Water Supply Information - data portal
Drought Insurance Program (DIP) "The legislature tasked OCR with reducing drought risk for interruptible water users"
PAST DROUGHT EVENTS
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