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Mild winter raising fears about Wash. water supply

Tue., Feb. 9, 2010, 11:52 a.m.

The mild winter in Washington is causing some worry for managers of the state’s water supply.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is estimating the winter snowpack is now just 74 percent of average, down from 84 percent just a month ago. Snowpack conditions in the Green River basin are only one-third of normal.

Snow that falls in the mountains and melts during warmer months is a major source of water across the state.

The agency said record high temperatures and below-average precipitation mean there may not be enough runoff to fill reservoirs that supply cities and farms this summer.

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