KENNEWICK -- The Bureau of Reclamation's July water supply forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full supply for all water rights in the basin.
That means the approximately 22,000 customers in the Kennewick Irrigation District will be able to irrigate without restrictions up to 3.5 acre-feet. An acre-foot is enough water to cover one acre 12 inches deep.
"Precipitation for April through June was 159 percent of average and demand for water was also way down due to the cool, wet weather," said Chuck Garner, the bureau's Yakima project river operations supervisor.
"The water supply has experienced a dramatic turnaround over the last three months," he added.
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Storage in Yakima basin reservoirs went from below average to above average in June and are expected to top out at about 97 percent of capacity.
Both junior and senior water rights holders are expected to receive their full water supply this season.
That means the Kennewick Irrigation District, which has junior rights, expects to receive its full allotment of water this year, said Chuck Freeman, district manager.
But with the onset of summer heat, Freeman said KID customers still should practice conservation out of consideration for others.
"We still encourage conservation because this is an abnormal year," he said.
The bureau's water supply forecast is based on river flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage as of July 1, along with estimates of future precipitation.
Future weather conditions that determine the timing of snowpack runoff and water demand also are critical in determining stream flows, prorated rationing and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.
For more information, go to the Bureau of Reclamation's website at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima.