Watershed Management photo identifier

Watershed Management

Yakima River Basin - Lower/Upper Yakima & Naches (WRIA 37/38/39)

This page is being maintained as an archive of past information and will not be updated.

link to WRIA 40 link to WRIA 39 link to WRIA 38 link to WRIA 30 link to WRIA 31 link to all WRIAs WRIA 37, Lower Yakima










link to all WRIAs link to WRIA 39 link to WRIA 09 link to WRIA 10 link to WRIA 26 link to WRIA 30 link to WRIA 37 WRIA 38, Naches










link to WRIA 40 link to WRIA 37 link to WRIA 45 link to WRIA 07 link to WRIA 08 link to WRIA 09 link to WRIA 38 link to all WRIAs WRIA 39, Upper Yakima












Grant funds expended and/or projected through June 2015



On December 18, 2002, the Yakima Basin Plan became the first in the State to be approved by a planning unit and forwarded for additional public consideration and adoption by the counties.

Three years after planning group approval, the Yakima, Benton, and Klickitat boards of commissioners approved the Yakima Basin Watershed Management Plan for the Lower Yakima and Naches watersheds. Kittitas County opted out of final plan adoption for the Upper Yakima basin; they are not eligible for implementation grants.

The lead agency for the Lower Yakima and Naches watersheds is the Yakima Basin Water Resources Agency. They received Phase 4 funding in September 2006 and the planning group completed the detailed implementation plan in July 2007.

The watershed plan contains no obligations for county or state agencies.

Instream flow status

No instream flows are set in rule; however, target flows (enacted by Congress) and instream flow tribal treaty rights (affirmed by the Yakima Superior Court) are in place in the Yakima Basin. Both target and instream flows are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Ecology anticipates no other instream flow activities at this time.

Lead agency contact

There is not an operating Lead Agency (per Chap. 90.82 RCW) for the purposes of adopted watershed plan implementation needs.  Instead, water quantity (instream flow management, surface and groundwater diversion or withdrawals, storage and water banking) related plan implementation needs and objectives are being addressed by the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Plan implementation team comprised of various federal, state, tribal, local and NGO partners.

Other plan implementation needs, such as those addressing water quality or habitat may also be part of the above effort or they are being managed by independently by relevant natural resource and public health entities with authorized roles to carry out their routine missions.

For further information and assistance about the Benton and Yakima County Boards’ adoption of the WRIA 37/38/39 watershed plan, please contact their offices directly or contact the Department of Ecology’s Central Regional Office at: 509-575-2490

Outside links, publications, studies, data


Please send additions or corrections to Chris Anderson, (360) 407-6634.

Yakima River courtesy of Brian Walsh


Ecology and County contacts for this WRIA

WRIA 37-38-39 Status

  • Optional elements: water quality, habitat.
  • Currently in Phase 4: Implementation.