The Washington State Department of Ecology says communities in the Methow and Okanogan Basins could be facing very low water supplies this summer. Drought Coordinator Jeff Marti says the state has seen a wide variety of snow levels.
“Those areas have substantially missed out on the big snowpack party that the rest of the state has enjoyed over the past couple of months. Even though we’ve had extraordinarily cold temperatures, they haven’t been getting a lot of precipitation.”
The area is also low on soil moisture which contributes to run off.
Marti says the drought levels could be some of the worst in recent memory.
“In terms of the volume we expect, we expect to see overall volume this summer, from April through September, on the order of the volume, or less even than what we saw in 2015 which was a very serious drought year for the state.”
Marti says the drought will impact the fish for sure, but also could mean that those who have junior water rights might be asked to stop taking water from the river. He also noted that the drought could reach Wenatchee and the Entiat areas.
You can read about the concerns on the Department of Ecology’s blog.