Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Drought deepens

Almost nonexistent snowpack a bad sign for Northwest

An ibis explores what habitat remains on the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges during a drought year that is exacerbating water resources challenges in this arid region.
 DEVAN SCHWARTZ

KUOW Seattle

KUOW Seattle

Water managers had hoped late snows or heavy spring rains would help fill reservoirs and streams after a largely snow-free winter in the Northwest. But that’s not how things turned out. New data shows precipitation levels were 40 percent below normal last month, with snowpack pretty much disappeared. Of the 98 sites in Washington monitored by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 66 are now snow-free.

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Idaho water users strike deal, avoid curtailment

Times-News

With the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer at its lowest levels since 1912, groundwater users in Idaho have agreed to surrender a staggering 13 percent of their claims to water in a landmark deal expected to bring long-term changes for irrigators. Water wells will be metered and farmers will have to grow less hay and corn, and more grains. Further details of the agreement have to be worked out by July 1.

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Rules proposed for Oregon's water fund

Capital Press

Oregon’s water supply development fund is closer to becoming functional now that regulators have proposed rules for its operation that may be finalized in mid-June. Meanwhile, state lawmakers are considering upping the fund’s size from the already-approved $10 million to $16 million, along with a bevy of other water proposals.

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