March forecast released for Yakima Basin water supply - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

March forecast released for Yakima Basin water supply

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YAKIMA, WA – The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2017 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during the 2017 irrigation season but an estimated 96 percent water supply for junior (proratable) water rights.

“We are expecting the water supply to be near normal,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The reservoir storage and the snowpack are a bit below normal, but with normal conditions our water supply should be adequate."

Reclamation will provide water supply forecasts monthly through July. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline.

The March TWSA forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir storage as of March 1st, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining streamflows, prorations, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.

If that spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, the water supply could worsen. Because weather conditions can be unpredictable, Garner recommends water conservation always be considered by users in the Yakima Basin.

For more information, visit Reclamation’s website at