Water Woes

Water Woes

Water Woes. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

2015 will be remembered for a long time as the year without water. What was already a touchy situation is just getting worse. The Department of Ecology last week released a statement that may have some junior water rights irrigators in north-central and eastern Washington facing water cutoffs far earlier than normal this year. Joye Redfield-Wilder with the Washington State DOE.

REDFIELD-WILDER: The big deal here is that it’s so early in the season and these are irrigators who have junior water rights or secondary water rights. Their water rights are subject to stream flows and that they usually might have to stop watering in September and now they’re having to stop watering by the end of June.

Irrigators need to call a hotline number to find out whether they can water that day or not.

REDFIELD-WILDER: But we’re not thinking that they’ll be able to water unless there’s a big rain event. We’d have to have some big thunderstorms and they’d have to last for a long time so it just really is illustrating what kind of year we are having. These streams just dropped dramatically fro last week to this week or the week before that on the Wenatchee.

Snowpack in Washington melted a month early and 43 percent of rivers statewide are now running at record-low levels. Senior water rights holders will still get all their water.

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

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