Positive outlook continues for Yakima River Basin water supplies

A positive outlook continues for summer water supplies in the Yakima River Basin.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation, in its final monthly forecast for the season, said Monday that all users will receive a full supply of water, reported the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Cooler, wet weather in June helped preserve water in storage reservoirs, said Chuck Garner, river operations supervisor for the Yakima Irrigation Project.

Natural runoff, however, continued to lag below normal and will do so for the rest of the summer, he said, raising concerns about low reservoir carry-over heading into next season.

"With the summer irrigation season in full swing, the reservoir system is being used to meet demands. We expect low reservoir storage at the end of the irrigation season," Garner told the Herald-Republic, encouraging water users to conserve where possible.

Reservoir storage when the season ends Oct. 20 provides the foundation for the 2014 season. The bureau forecast is based on runoff, subsequent precipitation, return flows and reservoir storage.