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 EventsAugust 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 projectsJuly 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 TopicsJuly 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
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