Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report January 2020

Stored Water: Storage in the 5 reservoirs is at 39% of capacity which is 100,000 acre/feet less than average.

Snow water equivalent in the upper Yakima Basin is at 82% of average and in the lower Yakima Basin is at 105% of average. Snowpack is responsible for 2/3 of the water necessary for both instream flow for fish and out of stream use for agriculture. The only source of water that will prevent droughts, which effect the economy in the Yakima Basin, is water from the Columbia River.

Projects in the Yakima Basin Fish Passage:

Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Facilities and Reintroduction Project – The juvenile fish passage facility will use an innovative helix design to transport juvenile fish downstream. The upstream adult fish passage facility will be a trap-and-haul facility where fish are trapped at the base of the spillway, loaded into a truck, and then hauled for release into Cle Elum Reservoir or to upstream tributaries.

Box Canyon Creek Fish Passage – A completed conceptual design for the Box Canyon Creek Fish Passage Enhancement Project has been completed. The final design work is expected to begin following discussions with potential project partners.

Clear Creek Dam Fish Passage – The Bureau of Reclamation completed an appraisal level design for fish passage.

Projects in the Yakima Basin Structural and Operational Changes Element:

Cle Elum Pool Raise – The purpose of the Cle Elum Pool Raise Project is to increase the reservoir’s capacity for improved aquatic resources for fish habitat, rearing, and migration in the Cle Elum and upper Yakima Rivers.

Lower Yakima River Smolt Survival Study – The lower Yakima River smolt survival study was initiated in 2018. The study continues today.

Projects in the Yakima Basin Surface Water Storage Element:

Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant (KDRPP) – The Bureau of Reclamation signed the Record of Decision (ROD) which does not approve implementation of the Keechelus to Kachess Pipeline. The Environmental Impact Statement for the Kachess floating plan will continue.

Wymer Reservoir – Consideration of site requirements is ongoing.

Bumping Reservoir Enlargement Project – Consideration of site requirements is ongoing.

Projects in the Yakima Basin Groundwater Storage Element:

Groundwater Storage – Basin wide analysis is continuing.

Projects in the Yakima Basin Conclusion: Projects continue to address habitat and fish passage. These projects can only be successful when there is an annual supply of water. The Kachess Drought Pumping Plan would not meet the goal of more than 500,000 acre/feet that is needed annually. If it doesn’t fill, how will the available water be distributed, instream or out of stream use? Fish returning up the Yakima River have not increased. Fish numbers cannot increase without a more consistent flow of water.