For Release: March 04, 2021
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2021 total water supply available forecast for the Yakima basin indicates the water supply will satisfy all senior and junior water rights this irrigation season.
“The seasonal precipitation, and the current snowpack and reservoir storage are at very good levels and should provide a good water supply for this coming irrigation season,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor.
Reclamation manages the water in the five Yakima Project storage reservoirs, along with the basin’s unregulated inflows to fulfill water rights, water contracts and instream flow obligations. Water shortages in the basin are shared equally by the junior water rights, which represent over half of the water rights in the basin.
Reclamation will provide an updated water supply forecast monthly—at least through July—using the latest data each month to reflect any changing conditions as they develop.
The March forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining stream flows, prorations and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.
“We still have several key months ahead of us that can have a big influence on the ultimate water supply this summer,” says Garner.
For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima