Declaring Drought Pt 1

Declaring Drought Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The Department of Ecology may have lifted the drought declaration in Eastern Washington, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got a perfect system for making these declarations.

The Washington Policy Center’s Pam Lewison says there’s a misconception that drought declarations are only for farmers …

LEWISON … “Drought declarations are really for anywhere. So, if a lack of water effects a municipality, that’s still part of the equation.”

And, like other government decisions, Lewison says it takes too long …

LEWISON … “We need to figure out how to make drought declarations more responsive, more quickly. And I think that involves a smaller committee format with a stronger sense of urgency in that committee about how to assess actual on the ground conditions for water.”

But then, Lewison says, when is the drought over …

LEWISON … “And then I think the last thing is, on the back end, there really does need to be a serious consideration given to, you know, do we extend and existing drought declaration based on what the next year’s water conditions look like.”

Lewison says a normal amount of rainfall this year would not have pulled us out of the drought carryover from last year.

Tune in tomorrow for more on the needed changes in our drought declarations.

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