The Bureau of Reclamation’s May 2018 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates the water supply will fully satisfy senior and junior water rights this irrigation season.
“April’s water supply indicators—precipitation (192 percent of average), snowpack (near average), and reservoir storage (117 percent of average) are each very healthy right now,” said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. “The Yakima Basin water supply for the 2018 season will be ample to meet demands this spring and summer.”
Most snowpacks across the state are below average for this time of year. Julie Koeberle with NRCS states that “It’s been dryer than usual for the season, and a below normal snowpack which leads to the outlook of below normal stream flows and below normal water supplies overall for a lot of the state. Especially that SE corner of Oregon.”
NOAA’s three month forecast calls for above normal temperatures, and below normal precipitation for Oregon. Already, Grant and Klamath counties have declared drought for 2018.