Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report December, 2017

YBSA Monthly Report
December, 2017

Seasons Greetings! YBSA wishes everyone a successful & healthy 2018

Reservoirs & Water Supply: The stored water in the Yakima Basin Reservoirs is more than half of capacity. The snowpack this year is less than last year at this date. We still have the next three months for the snow to accumulate enough moisture to provide two-thirds of the water needed, along with the reservoirs for instream flow (fish) and out-of-stream use (agriculture) in 2018.

Lower Yakima River Thermal Barrier: A subcommittee of the Integrated Plan Group is reviewing all possible ways to make the lower Yakima River more passable for returning fish. Additional water is needed in the river to solve the problem.

Lake Kachess Drawdown: The Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plan and Keechelus Reservoir to Kachess Reservoir Conveyance Supplemental Draft EIS is to be completed by the end of December 2017. Once the document is available, public hearings will be held along with written comments prior to the Bureau of Reclamation making a decision. According to federal legislation the beneficiary of the added water will be responsible for the costs. The decision cannot be made until the total cost of the project is identified. Also, information of annual water supply that would be available each year based on climate change information should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement.

Lake Cle Elum Fish Project: Work continues to create fish passage. A system is being constructed in the Lake to place a helix and tunnel to allow the fish to return to the Yakima River. A facility to move the returning salmonoids from the river to the lake is being considered. A catch and haul or a new system, Whooshh™, which shoots the fish in an enclosed pipe into the lake is being reviewed.

Construction of the radial gates to raise Lake Cle Elum’s level 3 feet was completed in April. The Bureau of Reclamation is now working with the Forest Service and landowners to install shoreline protection. It is estimated to take approximately the next 5 years to complete. No additional water can be stored until the shoreline protection component is completed, and all additional storage will be dedicated for instream flow for fish. The first shoreline protection contract was awarded for the USFS Cle Elum River Campground to be moved in August 2017 and construction is set to begin fall 2017.

The Lake Cle Elum Project is estimated to be completed in 5 to 7 years if funding becomes available.

Pump Storage: The Columbia River Pump Storage Project which is listed in the Integrated Plan Storage Components needs to be reviewed and updated. The Pump Storage project (Black Rock) contains the needed water for the Yakima Basin. The in-basin storage has been evaluated for 8 years with no appreciable increase in water storage.

Please contact YBSA and comment on the need for a Pump Storage project to provide water for the Yakima Basin. Write to YBSA at P.O. Box 30, Prosser, WA 99350. Also you can view information about this issue at


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