YAKIMA, Wash.- The Bureau ofReclamation’s March 2013 Total Water Supply Available (TWSA) forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that there will be a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights.
“At this time the water supply for the basin is expected to be near to slightly below normal.” said Yakima Project River Operations Supervisor Chuck Garner. “February snowfall was below average until a series of storms hit the Cascades bringing amounts closer to normal. We’re anticipating spring conditions will have a significant impact on the final water supply.”
Reclamation will present 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 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the run-off and the demand for water are also critical in determining streamflows, prorationing, and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.
“The Yakima Basin weather outlook is favorable and the reservoir system storage on March 1st was a healthy 122 percent of average,” Gamer said. “We expect the reservoirs to fill and the runoffto provide for early season demands.”
In the event that spring precipitation is unfavorable and runoff is below average, there still should be an adequate supply, but since weather conditions can be unpredictable at times Gamer recommends that water conservation always be a consideration in the Yakima Basin.