Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report, August 2018

YBSA Monthly Report

August 2018

Lake Cle Elum: Construction continues on the project to allow juvenile fish to move from Lake Cle Elum over the dam to the Cle Elum River. Unites States Forest Service (USFS) are moving the campgrounds around the shores of the lake to higher ground due to the increase in elevation of Lake Cle Elum.

Instream Flow: Salmon in the Yakima River are threatened this summer as a result of low water flow and high temperatures. When water temperatures exceed 70 degrees salmon survival is in jeopardy.

Water Storage: The 5 reservoirs are at 46% of capacity, slightly below average for this time of year. Irrigation water will be available until the middle of October.

Lake Kachess Drought Relief: The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the Department of Ecology (DOE) are continuing to review the comments submitted on the Lake Kachess Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and are preparing the final EIS.

Proposed Reservoir: In Benton Country’s Switzer Canyon, a reservoir holding 44,000 acre/feet would be created and used to provide water in dry years to benefit farmland in Benton and Klickitat County. A 2-year $1 million study funded by DOE is starting.

Pump Storage: A pump storage project (Black Rock) evaluation was completed in 2008 and determined to not be cost effective. It provided 1.2 million acre/feet of water for irrigation in the lower Yakima River Basin. At the present time electricity provided by wind power, solar power, and nuclear power could provide additional power for pumping. Water withdrawn from the Columbia River during the Spring of the year would reduce the flow by ½ of 1% of its total flow. Using value credited to fish included in the Integrated Plan would change the cost-benefit ratio. It’s time to review the findings of the 2008 EIS. Using Columbia River water to irrigate would free up the stored water in the Yakima Basin Reservoirs for fish.

Groundwater Storage: The Groundwater Storage Subcommittee is reviewing all ongoing groundwater storage projects and developing a mission statement and objectives. The committee reviewed ongoing groundwater storage projects in October 2017. A review of groundwater storage in the Yakima Basin is being done by a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University. The study to describe aquafer storage and shallow aquafer recharge looks at where we can store the water, how much we can store, and when we can store it. Effects of climate change looking at instream flow, infrastructure (canals, etc.), and reservoir water release are being examined.

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