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Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report

August 2019

Storage Capacity: In the Yakima Basin reservoirs storage is at 30% with inflow at 604 cubic feet per second (cfs) and released at 4191 cfs. Junior water right holders are currently receiving 69% supply. Currently the reservoir capacity is 180,000 acre/feet less than average.

Annual Flip Flop: Every year to protect spawning grounds in the upper Yakima River flow of water is reduced. The reduced flow is put in place to force the fish to spawn near the center of the river. Then the water stored in the reservoirs in the Naches River Basin is released to nearly flood stage to counteract the reduced flow from the upper Yakima River. See this article from the Yakima Herald Republic September 1st, 2019.

Carryover: Annual carryover of stored water may be at a minimum at the end of the irrigation season. Snowpack this winter will determine the water available for instream flow and out of stream use (fish & agriculture). The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting snow events this winter.

Climate Change: With conservation measurers in place the out of stream water for agriculture has been enough for a good year for agriculture. In stream flow is dangerously low especially in the lower Yakima River. Currently the warm water, covered in many places with green algae, is
hazardous to fish. The Lake Cle Elum fish passage project continues. Completion is about 2 to 3 years away. More water in the Yakima River will be needed to make the project successful. The mighty Columbia River continues to flow above average and fishing has been opened.

Go to www.ybsa.org for additional information.