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 qualifying counties can be downloaded on the Department of Ecology drought website. It is projected that every county in Washington will qualify for relief funds.


2015 News on Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Restrictions and Events
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 
July 13. NWPR Northwest Water Supplies Dropping Amid Drought Conditions
July 13. The Columbian Concerns mount as the drought deepens
July 13. Capital Press Washington ecology lays down rules for drought relief money
July 12. Tuesday July 14, 2015 Event  – Drought Forum @ 6:00 pm at Chimacum High School  (91 West Valley Road, Chimacum, WA.)  Q&A with WA Dept. of Ecology, WSU Jefferson County and others
July 9. The Stranger How Is Washington’s Drought Affecting Local Farms?
July 9. WA State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report July 9, 2015
July 8.  USDA Secretarial Drought Designations Updated July 8, 2015  Counties Asotin and Chelan added to drought designations
July 8. WA State Climatologist Washington State Weekly Drought Monitoring Report July 2, 2015
July 2. Bureau of Reclamation Yakima Basin Water Supply – July Forecast
July 2.  Drought Forum to be held July 14, 2015 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00pm at Chimacum High School – 91 West Valley Road, Chimacum, WA.  Q&A with WA Dept. of Ecology, WSU Jefferson County and others
 July 2. Dept. of Ecology Statements from Governor and Ecology about Senator Cantwell’s legislation for Yakima Basin
July 2. Dept. of Ecology Blog City of Anacortes helps Skagit Delta farms survive drought
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
 2015 News on Wildfires, Rivers, and Other Drought-related Topics
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