News Plans To Restore and Improve Yakima River Basin - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

News Plans To Restore and Improve Yakima River Basin

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YAKIMA, Wash.- After months of waiting, there's finally some action on creating more water storage for the Yakima River Basin. The report from the Department of Ecology says they're now working to improve the basins current condition and meet future needs.   

The plan released Tuesday will add new fish passages to basin dams, provide more water storage, update existing fish passages and improve water conservation and marketing.

This is all part of a plan that will be worked on by a diverse group of people, like environmental groups, the Yakama nation, state officials and irrigators.

Members of the storage alliance say with such a big agricultural community, the Yakima Valley has needed a plan to improve water supply for some time.

"For years we have depended on our water supply for our economy and environment and we keep having droughts and that's killing our economy and environment," said Charlie de la Chapelle from the Yakima Basin Storage Alliance.

The state also studied numerous reservoirs, like Black Rock, finding none of the reservoirs met federal guidelines.

Bureau of Reclamation employees say this new plan should help Yakima Valley's water supply in the future.

The first meeting to discuss the new plan will be on June 30th. The plan will be completed within 18 months.