Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report May 2019

Water Available: The water in the 5 reservoirs in the Yakima Basin is at 80% of capacity. The smaller snowpack is being reduced by the very hot temperatures creating another water short year.

Final Water Report: The Bureau of Reclamation will publish their final water report soon. It will include an estimate on the amount of water for the irrigation districts in the Yakima Basin.

Letter to the Editor by Charles Klarich, 80-year resident of the Yakima Basin: Water for the Yakima Basin

With the adjudication of water rights in the Yakima Basin completed, it’s time to locate the water needed to fulfill those rights.

The current snowpack in the Basin is at 50% of normal. The 5 reservoirs are 75% full, so proratable water users could get 75% or less water than needed. Instream flow in the lower river continues to create a thermal barrier for fish passage and survival. Is there a solution?

The only plan being considered is the floating pump project on Lake Kachess. These 200,000 acre/feet of water would come from 80 feet below the normal water surface and would only be used during drought years. With climate change it is possible Lake Kachess would not refill every year after drought pumping. The cost of the floating pumping plant, which will remain on the lake, is estimated to be more than $252 million. Annual costs for maintenance and mitigation will be added. It is anticipated the Roza Irrigation District would pay for the project.

The Yakima River Basin Integrated Plan does not provide the water needed. Roll on Mighty Columbia Roll on . . . send some water to the Yakima Basin!
Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan: May 2019
• Lake Cle Elum fish passage over the dam to provide for the downstream passage for fish returning to the Cle Elum River is progressing.
• Box Canyon Creek and Clear Creek Dam are being evaluated for fish passage.
• Lower Yakima River Study – Study to identify salmon and steelhead behavior in the lower river during spring and summer months based on instream flow.
• Lake Kachess Pumping Project Environmental Impact Statement has been issued and is being reviewed.
• Wymer and Bumping Lake Reservoirs are ongoing.

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