Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report November 2019

YBSA Monthly Report
November 2019

Storage Capacity: Storage is at 20% of average1 150,000 acre/feet less than normal. Lake Cle Elum, the largest reservoir, is at 14%. Total storage is at 58% of average.

Lower Yakima River: Flows have been very low since this summer. The Yakima River channel has decreased with grasses growing in parts of the riverbed. Fish survival and passage has been minimal.

Climate Change: Weather patterns have changed with storm tracks moving through Canada. Snowpack is crucial for the Yakima Basin. It provides 2/3 of the water necessary for instream flow and out-of-stream use.

Kachess Drawdown Project: The decision to move forward depends on the Record of Decision to be issued by the Bureau of Reclamation. It has been 4 years since the Environmental Impact Statement was published. Why is the Bureau of Reclamation still waiting to make a decision? Delaying the decision won’t make the Kachess Project a better project. No decision can be made to access additional water until the decision by the Bureau of Reclamation is made. When there is insufficient water in Kachess Reservoir will fish and/or agriculture share that water.

Pump Storage: A pump storage project, using Columbia River water, would benefit the Yakima Basin and its water needs. Pump storage projects are operated with multiple beneficial results. See the diagram below to see the many uses.

The benefits to the Yakima River Basin would be
• water for fish year-round, water for irrigation during drought years
• surface water uses to reduce ground water pumping
• power generation to supplement the electrical grid
• increase salmonoid population to the Columbia River
• a reservoir for recreational use