March 17, 2022

Northwest Reservoirs and Summer Water Supply Are in Good Shape

After the Ides of March I generally start thinking about summer water resources, with the snowpack, reservoir levels, and predicted Columbia River flow utmost in mind.

The bottom line is that the state is in good shape waterwise for this summer.

The snowpack is a bit below normal right now---but not too bad at around 85% of normal for the State.

Considering the snow that will fall during the next week (see forecast below), we will be in good shape snow-wise going into the spring.

And then there are the reservoirs.   The most critical is the Yakima reservoir system that supplies water to a lot of agriculture around Yakima and Selah (see below).   Wow.  These reservoirs are in tremendous shape....WAY above normal.     So full of water that we are about 2-3 months ahead of normal filling.

Plenty of water for hops and tree fruit!

Seattle's reservoirs are slightly above normal, and would have been hugely above normal, if Seattle had not released lots of water to prevent the dams from overtopping (see below).

Another important source of water is the Columbia River and the latest forecasts(black line) is for it to be above normal (light green line) through at least mid-July,

I could show you more reservoirs or rivers, but the general conclusion is that the current outlook is positive for water supply this summer for Washington State, something expected after a La Nina winter.  California is not so good....which is typical for La Nina years.


  1. Thanks for the update! Love your blog.

  2. I sure wish that was the situation here in southern Oregon. Precipitation is way below average for the wet season and several reservoirs are dangerously low.

  3. OTOH, as if right on cue, the local forecasters here in Portland are already ramping up the climate change hysteria. "Look at the US Drought Monitor! OMFG! Half of the state is already in extreme drought! Run for your lives!" After over ten years of these unceasing histrionics, it's no wonder why many are tuning them out.

  4. Hey Cliff, noaa just released report saying drought to continue or worsen.


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