Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report September 2019

YBSA Monthly Report

September 2019

Storage Capacity: Capacity of water storage in the Yakima River Basin’s 5 reservoirs is 16% of capacity. The amount of water remaining in the reservoirs will be way below the normal carryover for the 2020 irrigation season. Carryover water that remained in October 2018 was 290,000 acre/feet and currently at the end of the 2019 irrigation season only 174,000 acre/feet remaining. Weather patterns have changed and available snowpack which provides 2/3 of the water for instream flow, fish, and out-of-stream use for agriculture. The water supply in the summer of 2019 was adequate. The agricultural community was able to make adjustments, but the lower Yakima River was green with algae and too warm for fish.

End of Irrigation Season: The Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District will begin shutting down on October 18th and Roza water delivery will be curtailed on October 1st, 2019.

Additional Storage for the Yakima Basin: 10 years have passed since the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan was adopted and no additional storage has been made available. The Lake Kachess drought relief plan is still being reviewed and the Record of Decision (ROD) will be available soon. Lake Kachess did not fill completely in 2019. The fish passage project at Lake Cle Elum Dam is progressing with a small amount of water being available for instream flow and fish passage.

The Integrated Plan originally included Columbia River water for the Yakima Basin. The Integrated Plan Workgroup was to consider Columbia River water use if all the possible storage opportunities in the basin would not reach 450,000 acre/feet of water. The projects currently under review will not provide the water needed during drought conditions.

It is time for a review of the use of Columbia River water for irrigation and consequently we would have more instream flow for fish!

The Umatilla area farmland use of Columbia River water is progressing.

$1Billion Montana Pumped Storage Hydro Project Secures Funding: Click Here for Article.