The July water supply forecast for the 2016 water season was delivered to irrigators this morning, during the monthly river operations meeting. The United States Bureau of Reclamation provided Yakima Basin irrigators with an updated water supply forecast projecting that proratable irrigators, including KID, would receive 90% of their allotment. This is an increase from the previous amount of 86%.
KID does not anticipate a need for water restrictions during the 2016 water season. However, due to record rapid snowmelt this year, water was released from reservoir storage an estimated two weeks earlier than normal. Additionally, reservoir storage is anticipated to be low by the end of the season. The USBR will provide an update to irrigators in August. The District will continue to monitor supply and conditions and is prepared to implement necessary measures to ensure equitable distribution of the water supply available.
We would like to remind our customers and community members that water supply availability has been changeable and is impacted by many factors, including rapid snowmelt and sustained high temperatures. Therefore, we encourage our customers to take steps to retrain their lawns and implement water efficiency methods. In general, decreasing the frequency of the number of watering days and watering for longer durations, dependant on soil type, will help vegetation to be better prepared to survive drier conditions. For more specific information on water efficiency, determining soil type and other helpful information go to our website or visit the Benton Conservation’s website at http://bentoncd.org/ and the Washington State University Extension website at http://extension.wsu.edu/ .