Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report May, 2017

YBSA Monthly Report

May, 2017


Water Available: The fall and winter snow fall provided water necessary for fish and irrigation in the Yakima River Basin. The water stored in all 5 reservoirs combined is at 96% of capacity. The stored water will be used when the snowpack has melted to supplement the flow in the Yakima River. This summer is the first time in the last few years to guarantee enough water for instream and out-of-stream needs.

Integrated Plan Water Storage Update: Bumping Lake expansion and construction of a new reservoir, Wymer, are still being evaluated. Lake Cle Elum expansion and fish passage improvements are continuing. The 14,000 acre/feet increase in Lake Cle Elum will be used for instream flow for fish. Total cost of the Cle Elum project has not been determined.

Lake Keechelus, the lake along I-90, is to be used to pipe water to Lake Kachess.

Lake Kachess pumping plan is still being considered. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which has taken 3 years to complete, will identify the costs of the project’s construction and maintenance along with mitigation for environmental damage. Federal legislation stated the developers of this project should be required to pay for it. The water available from the Lake Kachess project will not meet the needs identified in the Integrated Plan.

The Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study (Black Rock, 2008): The Final EIS prepared by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation does not consider the benefits provided by the Black Rock plan compared with the respective impacts and costs to provide justification for moving forward with any of the alternatives.

One of the storage projects listed in the Integrated Plan is Columbia River water. The Feasibility Study evaluates storing Columbia River water in Black Rock Reservoir which would provide up to 1.3 million acre/feet of water for irrigation purposes. The water not withdrawn from the Yakima River would be available for instream flow.

If the value of fish in the Integrated Plan was included in the Storage Study and the availability of wind generation were considered the benefit and cost numbers might be different.


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