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 will affect water supplies for irrigation and stream flows that depend on melting snowpack throughout the summer and early fall.

If you are not able to view the image above and wish to view the Snotel Map, please visit USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service PDF Map version. 


2015 News on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Restrictions 
June 30. Peninsula Daily News Forks issues call to residents for voluntary water restrictions
June 30. Washington State Legislature Spending increase of $14 million for emergency drought response included in state budget
June 26. Dept. of Ecology Early water restrictions for eastern Washington irrigators
June 25. Capital Press 100-plus temps to affect spring wheat crop
June 24. USDA Farm Service Agency USDA Designates 8 Counties in Washington as Primary Natural Disaster Areas
June 23.  Capital Press Washington on brink of federal drought declaration
June 22. WA State Dept. of Ecology Proposed reclaimed water rule will help state prepare for future droughts
June 20. Office of Washington State Climatologist June 18 Weekly Drought Monitoring Report
June 20.  Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles ratchets up water alert to stage 2, but sees no danger of running out of drinking water
June 20. Dept. of Ecology Blog Drought Watch: Saving crops in Skagit County
June 17. Q13 Gig Harbor urges residents to conserve water during drought
June 17.  The White House FACT SHEET: Supporting Workers, Farmers, and Communities Suffering from Drought
June 15.  Dept. of Ecology Blog Snowpack at zero percent of normal; record lows for stream flows
June 11. Clallam County PUD Water Restrictions for PUD’s Upper Fairview Water District
June 11. Tri-City Herald Columbia Irrigation District implements watering restrictions
June 8. Bureau of Reclamation Bureau of Reclamation Hosts Webinar for Drought Response Program Funding Opportunities 
June 8.  Seattle Times The Northwest’s snowpack drought: With water cutbacks, farmers risk crop losses
June 8.  Office of the Washington State Climatologist June Outlook
June 5.  U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell Cantwell Calls for Bold 21st Century Solutions to Drought Crisis
June 5. Natural Resources Conservation Service Washington Water Supply Outlook Reports (June PDF posted)
June 3. Oregon Public Broadcasting Impacts Of Drought In Washington – A recorded conversation with Washington Ecology Department coordinator Jeff Marti,  EarthFix reporter Ashley Ahearn, and Cliff Mass, a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
June 2. New York Times Drought Is Bearing Fruit for Washington Wineries
June 2. Capital Press Roza Irrigation District turns water on again
June 2. Bureau of Reclamation Yakima Basin Water Supply – June Forecast Released (estimated 44 percent supply for junior water rights)
June 1. Yakima Herald Warm weather is the new normal in the Yakima Valley
May 29. Yakima Herald State Senate passes drought relief bill
May 29. Capital Press Growers cope with Roza shutdown
May 25. Dept. of Ecology Yakima junior water users: Workshop on water permits held Thursday, May 28
May 25. WSU News El Nino bad for Washington drought, good for California
May 23. Bureau of Reclamation Yakima Basin Water Supply Mid-May Forecast
May 20.  Tri-City Herald Kennewick Irrigation District customers to move to mandatory watering schedule
May 19. United States Dept. Of Agriculture USDA to Expand Investment in Water Conservation, Resilience across Drought-Stricken States
May 19. Yakima Herald Inslee calls statewide drought emergency; economic losses estimated at $1 billion
May 15. Washington Governor  Governor declares statewide drought emergency
May 15. Dept. Of Ecology 2015 Yakima River Basin Emergency Drought Authorization (Forms to Download)
 2015 News on Wildfires, Rivers, and Other Drought-related Topics
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