The Washington Department of Ecology published their final draft of the 2016 Columbia River Supply and Demand Forecast.


The forecast, which is intended to guide all aspects of water management in the Columbia River Basin, show Central and Eastern Washington could see an 18% increase in demand for water, both in municipal and domestic needs.


DOE’s Joye Redfield-Wilder said, “That means we need to come up with another 80,000 acre feet of water to meet that need.  We have projects that have been underway to increase water storage, and also to reduce vulnerability for drought.  We had an unprecedented drought in 2015.”


Redfield-Wilder adds the forecast also exams the impact climate change is having on snowpack, run off and the long-term impact on crops grown across the region.


Redfield-Wilder adds that over the next ten years, the state hopes to develop more than 300,000 acre-feet of water for irrigation.


“Over the last ten years, the program has done a lot of construction in the Columbia Basin to help deliver the water to famers who rely on the Odesssa aquifer.”


To read the complete Forecast, visit DOE's blog.


By the way, the forecast a joint effort by Washington Ecology, Washington State University, University of Utah and others.



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