Drought Declaration Lifted Pt 1

Drought Declaration Lifted Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. As folks in much of the nation deal with extreme heat, the Washington Department of Ecology is dropping our drought declaration across Central and Eastern Washington.

But State Drought Coordinator Jeff Marti says our cooler and wetter weather has been much different than last year …

MARTI … “That is correct, yeah. We made the decision just in the past couple of weeks in light of the extraordinary precipitation we’ve all enjoyed, to varying degrees, across the state this spring to pull back the declaration.”

Winter helped, but Marti says a few areas, as of May, had still not fully recovered from the drought …

MARTI … “Where the forecasted runoff was still below our, we have a state, kind of, a statutory threshold that we’re required to use in terms of determining drought conditions and we had a few watersheds, five watersheds, that were still forecasted to be below that line.”

And that, Marti says was concerning …

MARTI … “But then, wow, reality caught up and those river models were adjusting quite rapidly and, of course, this spring, April through June, was our third wettest such period since 1895, average statewide. So that’s a pretty extraordinary amount of precipitation and that makes a difference.”

And this, Marti says is the reason they’ve lifted the drought declaration.

Tune in tomorrow for more on our drought recovery and the damage left behind.

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