Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthy Report May 2020

Storage Content: The 5 reservoirs are at 93% capacity. Annually storage is where it should be for this time of year.

Water Temperature Problems with Eastern Washington Rivers: Instream flow and warm water in the lower Yakima River is a concern for the survival of salmonoids during the hot summer months. An analysis of heat pollution in the Columbia River by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that temperatures always have spiked in the rivers at times in the summer, even before the dams. But today, the effects of the dams combined with the cumulative effects of climate change, push temperatures in the Columbia and lower Snake Rivers over the stated maximum temperature of 68° for weeks on end, the EPA found.

The Yakima Basin Storage Alliance (YBSA) has been emphasizing the need to increase flow in the Yakima River to reduce the temperatures in the lower Yakima River to improve fish runs and survival.

Cle Elum Fish Passage Project: The fish passage project at Lake Cle Elum Dam will continue to move forward again in July. The tunnel to move fish from the lake to the Cle Elum River and the Helix still must be installed.

Columbia River Solution: Providing water from the Columbia River to the Yakima Basin for irrigation would help solve the problem of high-water temperature and provide additional instream for in the Yakima River.

With the additional water available from the Columbia River in the Yakima Basin the Bureau of Reclamation could manage the instream flow which could create a more normal flow in the Yakima River creating a more stable river for instream (fish) and out of stream (agriculture) use.