Checking the Water Supply

Checking the Water Supply

Checking the Water Supply. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Growing season is here. Warm days, cool nights. But how is the water supply for Washington’s irrigators? Scott Pattee, Hydrologic Technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says, not bad.

PATTEE: Well pretty much statewide we’re about 2 weeks behind the curve on our melt which means the rivers and streams are still up. They pretty much hit their peaks last week from snow melt runoff. Of course with this hot weather the melt is coming hard and fast

The runoff of course will come from the snowpack in the state’s upper elevations.

PATTEE: The last time I looked our snowpack was up about 130% of average but that’s really because it’s behind the curve on the melt so basically what we did was we might have been below average in some places but we melted into the average curve.

Pattee says that the melt is really coming off pretty fast at this point. Most of the state looks pretty good with one exception.

PATTEE: The Okanagan got slammed again this year. They’re definitely the worst, the Okanagan-Methow area by far. I understand that they are already on water rationing if you will. Junior water rights holders are not getting their water in the Methow which of course is an uncontrolled stream meaning there is no reservoirs on it to store water to speak of. The best in the state I would have to say is the Cedar River area out of Seattle which provides about 70% of Seattle’s municipal water supply and they’re way above average.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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