Drought Emergency? Pt 1

Drought Emergency? Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Does Washington state really have a 'Drought Emergency?"

Governor Inlsee recently expanded the state's drought emergency declaration that now covers nearly half the state, and the media ran with the news. But, even though we've had a couple of nice, warm stretches in recent months, it just didn't seem to me that it's been all that dry this past winter or spring.

So, rather than being labeled a 'Science Denier' I decided to call an expert.

University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass ...

MASS ... "You know, I would not characterize the current situation as an emergency in any way. If you look at the water supplies of the major cities, they all look really good. I mean, the reservoir levels are quite high. And even some of the ag reservoirs like the Yakima system that's just below normal. So, they have like 90-95% of normal in the reservoirs that feed the Yakima system."

Mass says all you really have to do is look at the numbers ...

MASS ... "If you look at the percentage of normal precipitation over this winter, Eastern Washington is 100% or, some places, above 100%, but for most of it, the Columbia Basin all the way down to Walla Walla. The driest area has been in Western Washington, but there's really nothing serious going on. So, you look at almost any objective measure, there really is no emergency in terms of water for Washington state."

Mass says we're in relatively good shape water-wise and that there's really no reason to expect drier than normal conditions or excessive wildfires. He says if one cries wolf too many times, one day folks won't listen.

Tune in tomorrow for more.

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