Early Water Restrictions
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Roughly 380 irrigators in the eastern and north central part of the state will be facing water cutoffs much earlier than normal this year due to the drought. Ag Information Network's Greg Martin has more.
MARTIN: Irrigators on the Colville, Little Spokane, Methow, Okanogan, Similkameen, and Wenatchee rivers are being notified by the Department of Ecology to curtail their water use. When streamflows drop below certain levels, as they are now with 43% of rivers statewide running at record low levels due to low snowpack and early melt off, these irrigators have water rights that can be restricted. DOE reports that with the Colville River currently flowing at 28% of normal junior water right users in that area may have their water use regulated for the first time ever this year. In normal conditions junior water right holders are typically not asked to restrict their water usage until late September.
Ecology Director Bellon says that the agency is working hard to provide support and relief across the state to communities and irrigation districts, and that a request has been issued to the legislature for emergency funding. Hotlines have been set up for water users to call to find out what days they can irrigate.
For more drought information visit Ecology's website at ecy.wa.gov.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.