News + Updates

WA Drought 2015 Status

On Friday, May 15, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought for Washington. Although we have had average to above average precipitation this year, there has been significantly less snowpack due to higher than normal temperatures. This has affected water supplies for irrigation and stream flows that depend on melting snowpack.

The Washington State Legislature allocated $16 million for 2015-17 to help reduce or eliminate hardships from the 2015 statewide drought. Grant and loan applications for public entities can be downloaded on the Department of Ecology drought website.  Farmers, ranchers, and small businesses can view USDA Drought Programs and Assistance for relief programs and aid.


2015 News on Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Restrictions and Events
October 5. Capital Press Dry weather leads to higher protein levels in some wheat
October 5. Tri-City Herald Drought destroys Washington farmer’s pumpkin patch
October 5. Remember Washington’s Bad Drought? It’s Still Out There
October 1. Dept of Ecology Blog Colleges help lead the way in water conservation
September 29. Dept. of Ecology Blog The KID knows how to conserve water!
September 28. Daily Record Ag producers don’t want it, don’t want to think about drought
September 28. Union-Bulletin State predicts another dry winter
September 26. Capital Press Early cranberry harvest shapes up as dry run
September 26. Department of Ecology Washington’s historic drought not over yet; Drought predicted to extend into second year
September 26. Office of Washington State Climatologist Sept. 24 Weekly Drought Monitoring Report
September 25. Cliff Mass Weather Blog Drought in 2016 for Washington State?
September 25. Tri-City Herald Experts: Another ‘toasty’ winter, another drought next year
September 25. Yakima Herald Officials say drought conditions likely to continue into 2016
September 24. 5280 The Denver Magazine Will the Pacific Northwest Drought Impact Our Beer?
September 21. Capital Press Washington irrigation districts get drought-relief grants
September 21. Tri-City Herald Dates set for Mid-Columbia irrigation districts to end service
September 21. Tri-City Herald KID lifts watering restrictions
September 20. Spokane Public Radio SPR Talks Event: Our Water, Our Future 
Thursday, September 24 in the Spokane City Hall Council Chambers from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 18. Dept. of Ecology Blog Drought impacts: Yakima Valley farmers struggle now, wonder about next year
September 18.  Office of Washington State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report
September 15. Capital Press Roza district growers get water a little longer
September 15. Tri-City Herald Scientists conduct drought study in 6 western states
September 15. Peninsula Daily News Forks implements emergency water restrictions due to well levels  
September 13. Yakima Herald Yakima water officials: Prepare now for next summer’s drought
September 10. Office of Washington State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report
September 10. Tri-City Herald Mid-Columbia agencies asked to push water conservation
September 8. U.S. Geological Survey Low 2015 Snowpack and River Flows Studied to Provide Insight Into Future Droughts
September 4. USDA Secretarial Disaster Designations updated 09.02.15
As of September 2, 2015 All 39 counties in Washington State are designated primary disaster areas and qualify for aid. 
September 3. Dept. of Ecology Blog What did the rains do for the drought? Not much!
September 3.  Office of Washington State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report
September 3. AgWeatherNet Prosser’s 2015 Summer Crushes Previous Heat Record Set Just Last Year
September 1. NWPR Parched Olympic Peninsula Community Eyes New Reservoir
August 28. Office of Washington State Climatologist  Weekly Drought Monitoring Report Thursday, August 27, 2015  
August 26. Dept. of Ecology Blog Lawn care in a drought: brown is the new green
August 23. Dept. of Ecology Grants help upgrade water wells, boost irrigation water for crops
August 23. Dept. of Ecology Blog Help us tell the story: Half of state in “extreme drought”
August 19. USDA Farm Service Agency USDA Offers Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Fires
August 17. WSU Extension, Charles A. Brun Drought Tolerant Landscaping for Washington State
August 17. USDA Farm Service Agency Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
August 14. Tri-City Herald Kennewick Irrigation District water users call for Columbia River water rights
August 13. United States Drought Monitor 42.51% of Washington in Extreme Drought 
August 13. Capital Press Unusual drought impacts all of Washington’s farmers
August 12. Ecology WA Drought relief Application Status (As of 08.07.15)
August 12. Dept. of Ecology Blog Water conservation blog series will help you save water
August 11. The Saving Water Partnership  Seattle, Everett and Tacoma are asking customers to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 percent
August. 11 Tri-City Herald KID customers again allowed to spot water lawns
August 11. Dept. of Ecology Blog Drought update: Save Ten
August 10. Cliff Mass Weather Blog How to Reduce Water Waste from Sprinklers: The Science of Spray
August 10. Tri-City Herald Apple growers expect third-largest harvest, despite drought
August 6. Clallam PUD Stage 3 Water Alert for Additional PUD Systems – Follows City of PA’s Declaration
August 6.  Washington State Climatologist Weekly Drought Monitoring Report August 6, 2015
August 6. Capital Press Earlier drought planning needed, ag director says
August 5. USDA 2015 Secretarial Drought Designations – All Drought Updated 08/05/15
August 5. TDN Irrigation system in Kittitas County set for early closure
August 4. Clallam County PUD Water Relief For Upper Fairview – Restrictions Reduced to Stage 3
August 3. Bureau of Reclamation Yakima Basin Water Supply – August Forecast
August 3. Tri-City Herald How to help your lawn beat the summer heat – Irrigation Specialist, Troy Peters of WSU Extension Explains

August 3. Tri-City Herald Bigger hop harvest expected despite drought
August 1. Dept. of Ecology Blog 2015 is shaping up to be the worst of Washington’s statewide droughts
July 31. Capital Press ‘Extreme drought’ hits Washington for first time in a decade
July 30. Dept. of Ecology Drought restricts water usage in Chehalis basin – Low river flows stop water withdrawal from Chehalis River
July 30. Office of Washington State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report – July 30, 2015
July 29. Dept. of Ecology Video 2015 Drought Funding Assistance in Washington State   
July 29. Dept. of Ecology Blog Washington’s future is parched
July 28.  CrossCut  Snoqualmie Valley farmers fight drought with innovation
July 27. Kiro TV Seattle, Everett, Tacoma activate water shortage response plans
July 27. Office of the Washington State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report July 23, 2015
July 27. Dept. of Ecology Curtailing irrigation water during a drought
July 27. Inland Northwest Permaculture 5th Annual Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence: Permaculture in Drought
July 26.  Dept. of Ecology Blog Pre-statehood water rights curtailed in the Yakima Basin
July 21. Peninsula Daily News Report: Almost 99 percent of state now in ‘severe’ drought
July 21. Tri-City Herald  Drought dings quality of winter wheat in Northwest
July 20. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Yakima Basin Water Supply – mid-July Forecast
July 19. GoSkagit State says drought is so bad every county will qualify for relief funds
July 18. Yakima Herald Officials say drought conditions worst in Washington recorded history
July 18. Capital Press Severe drought nearly blankets Washington
July 18. USDA Secretarial Disaster Designations 2015 Crop Year All Drought -26 Total Counties in Washington as of 7/15/2015
July 18. Capital Press NE Washington declared federal drought disaster area
July 17. Capital Press Wenatchee Valley irrigation district reduces water
July 14. Tri-City Herald KID eases watering restrictions; CID innovation boosts its water
July 13. Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets Tumblr Farmers reactions to Washington state’s 2015 drought
July 13. GoSkagit Skagit County to be spared serious water woes, but for how long?
July 13 Dept. of Ecology
*$16 million to help relieve drought hardships statewide
*2015 Drought Emergency Grant Program Overview
*Frequently Asked Questions Revised July 2015
*Drought Relief Grant Application 2015 
*Ecology taking applications for drought relief projects 
 2015 News on Wildfires, Rivers, and Other Drought-related Topics
October 5. Tri-City Herald Drought was rough on sockeye, future could be an upstream battle
September 29. The Olympian Dramatic climate shifts require attention to forests, water
September 28. NPR Fall Brings No Relief To The West As Wildfires Worsen
September 24. Seattle Times Columbia River water levels hit 6-year low
September 15. Northwest Treaty Tribes How Treaty Tribes Are Responding to the Drought
September 14. Central Washington Fire Recovery Floodwatch Preparation
September 8. WSU New Wildfire Recovery Website
September 3. GoSkagit State lifts some drought-related fishing restrictions
August 31. US Army Corps of Engineers Lakes Washington, Union lowest in 28 years
August 29. Dept. of Ecology Blog WCC Fish Response: Crews help fish battle the drought
August 28. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 
-Snoqualmie River fishing hours restricted
-Areas of Sauk River closed to fishing in response to drought conditions
August 26. NorthWest Treaty Tribes How Real-Time Data Helps The Nisqually Tribe Protect Salmon
August 25. GoSkagit Marblemount hatchery doing better than most
August 25. Cliff Mass Weather Blog A Great Source for Northwest Smoke Forecasts 
August 23. The Columbian Water temperatures ease, but drought persists
August 19. GoSkagit Drought prompts more rule changes for region’s rivers
August 17.  GoSkagit Drinking water levels may be dropping sight unseen during drought
August 17. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Drought conditions prompt WDFW to limit suction dredging, other activities in rivers
August 10. Tri-City Herald Heat causes fish to die at Whatcom Falls hatchery
August 8. Komo News How dry is it? Sprinkler system set up in Olympic rain forest
August 3. Dept. of Ecology Drought conditions prompt changes in Lake Osoyoos levels; More water will be stored now to support Okanogan River flows in the fall
August 3. Dept. of Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network
Washington Air Monitoring
View Air Quality Information by Location
July 30. Dept of Ecology Blog Puget Sound waters left sweltering after double punch from the drought and the Blob
July 30. GoSkagit So far so good for state fish hatcheries in Skagit County – Heat, disease kills 1.5M fish around state
July 29. King5 State diverts river to help salmon
July 29. GoSkagit Puget Sound waters reach record warm temperatures  
July 28. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife WDFW takes steps to reduce effects of drought at fish hatcheries
July 27. Seattle Times Snowpack drought has salmon dying in overheated rivers
July 23. NWPR NW Fish Survival Tested By Warm Waters And Low Stream Flows
July 19.  USGS Map of Monthly Streamflow Compared to Historical Streamflow for the Month of the Year|m__mv01d_nwc&r=wa
Map of Monthly Streamflow Compared to Historical Streamflow for the Month of the Year. Courtesy United States Geological Survey (USGS)
July 18. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Drought prompts fishing moratorium for sturgeon on Columbia, Snake rivers
July 17. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Drought conditions prompt fishing closures, restrictions on numerous rivers  (To take effect Saturday (July 18) at 12:01 a.m)
July 14. Yakima Herald State could close some rivers to fishing due to drought
July 12. GoSkagit  Burn bans expand across Western Washington
July 6. Tri-City Herald Yakima River fish fighting for survival with drought
July 6.  NWPR Driest June On Record For Wettest Part Of Washington
June 29. FIRE PROTECTION BUREAU  Fireworks Ban or Restricted Sales/Use by County and City (BANNED in many Cities Across Washington)
June 26. Governor Jay Inslee Governor Inslee and Commissioner of Public Lands Goldmark take steps to reduce wildfire risk
June 26. WA State Dept. of Natural Resources DNR EXPANDS BURN BAN TO INCLUDE WESTERN WASHINGTON  (Hot And Dry Conditions Increasing Fire Danger Statewide)
June 26. King 5 News  Fish stranded in Puyallup River due to low water levels
June 20. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Drought affecting how Corps officials manage Chittenden Locks
June 17. Washington Trails Association Wildfire Season Arrives: Thunder Creek Closures, Fire Safety Tips
June 11. Spokesman-Review B.C. reservoirs will help aid Northwest during drought
June 9. Skagit Valley Herald  Drought brings low flows early to Spokane River
June 9.  United States Environmental Protection Agency Conserving Water
June 5. WA Dept. of Ecology Blog Rapidly declining stream and river flows are telling the story of our drought
June 1.  King 5 News Whitewater rafting businesses adapt to slow rivers
May 29.  Cliff Mass Weather Blog Drought Misinformation
May 19. Earth Observatory NASA Diminished Snow Pack in the Pacific Northwest (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Images)
May 19.  The Utilities and Transportation Commission Effective Water Conservation 
May 18. Tri-City Herald Expect dry fountains, brown lawns on Capitol Campus this summer
May 15.  Western Governors’  Association Drought Update: California desalination rules, Washington fishery concerns
May 12. Washington’s ‘snow drought’ puts fisheries at risk
May 11. Disaster Safety.Org Protect Your Property from Wildfire
May 4. Dept. of Ecology La conservación del agua: Comienza contigo
 April 22. Washington Energy Services 10 Easy Steps You Can Take Towards Water Conservation 
April 22. Tri -City Herald Yakima Basin drought becomes a reality
April 20. WA DNR  DNR Offering Wildfire Preparation Info for Communities 
March 30. Dept. of Ecology  Forecast: Dust storms and wildfires ahead for Central and Eastern Washington