Yakima River Basin water supply near normal

Herald staffApril 7, 2014 

The water supply in the Yakima River Basin should be adequate for senior and junior water rights for the coming irrigation season, according to the April forecast by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Snow pack in the Yakima River Basin is 98 percent of normal for the start of April, and the Yakima Basin reservoirs' storage is 123 percent of average.

Kennewick, Columbia, Roza and Sunnyside Valley irrigation districts use Yakima River Basin water to serve properties in Benton and Yakima counties.

"The water supply should be near normal," said Chuck Garner, of the Bureau of Reclamation. "February and March turned this year's snow pack around."

The timing of the snow melt, summer weather and irrigation demands still are unknown factors that can influence stream flow levels and the storage that can be carried over at the end of the season, Garner said. But even if spring precipitation and runoff are not as good as hoped, an adequate water supply still is expected, he said.

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