The Bureau of Reclamation’s July 2014 total water supply available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates there will be a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights this irrigation season.
Reclamation issues water supply forecasts monthly.Specific water delivery levels are determined after reservoir storage begins to decline.
The July forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage as of July 1, 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 stream flows, prorationing and reservoir storage.
“The Yakima Basin reservoirs filled in early June, but we have been using reservoir storage to meet basin demands since June 18, almost a week earlier than normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “We have an adequate water supply, but expect lower end-of-season reservoir storage this year; lower than we’ve seen in eight years.”
Garner recommends that water conservation always be a consideration.