OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has expanded a drought emergency to nearly half the state because of worsened, poor water supply conditions and warmer and drier weather predicted throughout the summer.
The governor declared drought for the Methow, Okanogan and Upper Yakima basins in April. He added 24 more basins this month including a large portion of Western and Central Washington and extending east to the Colville basin. Seattle, Tacoma and Everett areas are not included in the declaration.
Many areas of the state saw lower-than-normal snowpack this winter. A warm, dry spring quickly melted much of the snow that did accumulate.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service says every water basin in the state is below the 30-year median for snowpack.
The declaration allows expedited emergency water right permitting and allows the state to address drought hardships.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.