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Yakima Basin water supply looking good

YAKIMA –The Bureau of Reclamation’s May 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 coming irrigation season.

“Precipitation in the basin’s mountains has been above average the last three months and has more than made up the deficit we were facing at the end of January,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor.

“The reservoirs are in a good position to fill and the unregulated runoff should meet most of the water demands well into June.”

Reclamation will issue water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline.

The May forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage as of May 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.

Garner recommends that irrigators always consider practices that conserve water.

For more information, visit the Bureau of Reclamation’s website at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima.

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