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Water supply outlook for Lower Valley good

Although still a month away from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's first official forecast on water availability for the 2007 season, members of the Board of Control for the Sunnyside Division of the Yakima Irrigation Project were told to expect a full supply.

"Right now we're in good shape," Don Schramm, assistant manager of operations for Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID), said at Tuesday's board of control meeting.

He told the board that water storage in the reservoirs was 17 percent above average for this time of the year. He said that a full reservoir would only meet 40 percent of the water needs for the Lower Valley so a healthy snow pack is important.

With precipitation in the mountains this year 30 percent above average, the snow pack is only 10 percent above average. This is due to warmer weather in the mountains.

"The snow pack is the most important number," he said. "As long as were above average we're OK."

Schramm said traditionally the snow pack will grow in the months of February and March and he said he hopes to see the snow pack continue to build.

"I don't see any problems unless we get some extreme weather in the next couple of months," he added.

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