Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, July 24, 2015, Page 4, Image 32

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    4
CapitalPress.com
July 24, 2015
DRY TIMES
Reservoirs by
type and operator
Storage
Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Reclamation
Other
Washington, Oregon feel the effects of severe drought
T
he drought has taken a big gulp out of the
Columbia River, and it’s only getting
thirstier. The Pacific Northwest’s all-important
waterway — which flows from the snow-
capped peaks of the Canadian Rocky Moun-
tains to the coastline between Oregon and
Washington — is missing a third of its water.
Run of River
Corps of Engineers
Bureau of Reclamation
Other
The situation is worse along the Snake
River. The watery outflow from the Columbia’s
largest tributary is about 50 percent lower
than its historical average. That means every
major stakeholder, from fish to farmer to
hydroelectric power generator, is fighting for a
smaller sip of a shrinking supply.
Columbia River Basin
0
10
20
40
Miles
N
Numbered text corresponds with button locations (see map).
2
River
Roza-Kittitas —
Junior water right-
holders in Roza and
Kittitas will receive
just 44 percent of
their allotment of
water this year.
een
r
Ri
ve
r
R.
Grand
Coulee
Wells
Spok
Chief
Joseph
Chelan
River
an
OLYMPIC
NATIONAL
PARK
4
lle
Lake
Chelan
e
Banks
Lake
Seattle
Spokane
Rocky Reach
Rock Island
Cheha
MT. RAINIER
NAT’L PARK
i
lis R
Olympia
WASHINGTON
v er
wi
Granger Y
ak
im
Le
10
er
Riv
er
McNary
Pendleton
Salem
SHERMAN
r
ive
La Grande
Jo h n
Corvallis
Day Ri
ve r
wd
er Riv
er
Bend
R
Ri
r
ve
Malheu r
Nyssa
6
Owyhee
John Day — Snow
remained on the
ground at only one of
the 81 snow telemetry
(SNOTEL) sites in
June, according to the
Boi e USDA. In a normal
year,
there should be
Boise
snow near at least 10.
Ri Natural Resources
The
v er
Conservation Service
said runoff from
snowmelt peaked in
February, exacerbating
the drought and
lowering river flows
despite average
amounts of other
O w
precipitation.
y hee
Sn a
ke
CRATER
LAKE
NAT’L
PARK
7
gue Riv
e
Ro
r
Medford
K l a math Riv e r
Sources: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
Capital Press research
CALIFORNIA
Research by Zane Sparling; Illustration
by Alan Kenaga/Capital Press
Sherman County —
Sherman had the dubious
distinction of becoming the
20th Oregon county to be
placed in a state of drought
emergency, with another
three requesting the status
from Gov. Kate Brown. In a
statement, Brown said that
“drought-induced economic
consequences are yet to be
fully realized.”
er
OREGON
Roseburg
v
Ri
6
Owyhee — As much as
20 percent of the region’s
farmland, where onions
are the cash crop, will lie
fallow after the local
irrigation district set the water
allotment at 1.6 acre-feet for
the year. During a normal water
year, the allotment is 4 acre-feet.
About 1,800 growers cultivating
118,000 acres of irrigated land will
be affected by the cut.
Owyhee
8
r
ive
Brownlee
5
er
Bu r nt R iv
John
Day
5
9
River
IDAHO
Hells Canyon
Eugene
Ump qu a
Sal m o n
Oxbow
Po
Burns
R i
ver
NEVADA
Oregon, Washington drought conditions (As of July 7)
The “Blob”
Source: NOAA NCEI
HELLS
CANYON
NATIONAL
REC. AREA
Grand
7
iver
D e s chutes Riv
er
R
Kennewick
The
Dalles
m e t te
Wi
ll a
a
Sn
Ice Harbor
Joh n Day River
9
4
a R i v er
a Riv
mbi
C o lu
John
Day
8
Bonneville
Portland
3
Ron
de
R
ver
s Ri
Lower
Granite
Little
Goose
Lower
Monumental
er
Riv
Yakima
Longview
mbia
C o lu
Priest
Rapids
ke
10
Wanapum
11
Kennewick —
Lake
Farmers
Pend in the
Oreille Irrigation
Columbia
Coeur
d’Alene District have been
placed on an odd-even
r d’Alene
oeu
schedule,
C watering
while homeowners in
the Tri-Cities can only
water their lawns
during one 30-minute
period two days each
week. Officials say the
restrictions will reduce
peak usage from a
canal fed by the
Yakima River. Both
Lewiston
schedules are
determined by
residents’ addresses.
iv e r
Okanogan
12
Colville
2
Sna
ke R
Colum
bia
1
Priest
Lake
i
Colv
Sequim
Okanoga n R i ver
Skagit Rive r
Nehalem — Trout at five North
Coast fisheries will be undersize
and released prematurely, due to
flows 67 percent below normal at
the state-run Nehalem Hatchery.
The 1,550 one-pounders will take
the place of two-pound “trophy”
trout the ODFW had planned to
release in September. The
agency said they need to
conserve water for salmon and
steelhead they will breed there
until next spring.
Offshore —
Scientists at Oregon
State University say
a 300-foot deep
“blob” of warm water
the size of California
may have contributed
to drought conditions.
The sea patch
extends 1,000 miles
with temperatures
averaging about four
degrees higher than
normal. In general,
when air currents
pass over warm
coastal water they
produce less snow
and more heat.
3
BRITISH
COLUMBIA
NORTH
CASCADES
NAT’L
PARK
11
Dalles Dam — In a
normal year, the
water rushing through
The Dalles Dam tops
235,000 cubic-feet
per second. But with
spring rains a distant
memory, and the
snowpack already
exhausted, the dam is
currently discharging
just 150,000 cubic-
feet of water.
Columbia
Lake
R iv
e
Chehalis — The Washington
DOE is expected to issue shutoff
notices to 70 growers in the
Chehalis River Basin sometime in
mid-July. A curtailment order was
issued during a low flow period in
2006, but not until September.
Farmers say they will have no
access to water for the rest of the
growing season.
Roseburg — Oregon Dept. of
Fish and Wildlife has prohibited
fishing on the mouth of the
Umpqua River after the
tributary’s flow dropped 50
percent, raising temperatures
and pushing protected
steelhead toward the mouth of
the stream where waters are
cooler. The new ban is in effect
from the Scottsburg Bridge to
the confluence of the twin forks.
Ri
ve
r
a
Colum b i
12
ia
Colville — Officials have shut the spigot
for more than 260 junior water right-
holders along three minor tributaries
of the Columbia. The order to
curtail usage came after water
levels in the Colville River
plunged 72 percent, an
unprecedented drop this
early in the summer.
Simil
kam
Sequim — In an effort to save
the estimated 500 chinook, 9,800
coho and 1.3 million pink salmon
that travel up the Dungeness
River each year, the Washington
DOE will pay 13 local farmers to
forgo their rights to 840 acre-feet
of water. The growers will receive
an average of $150 per acre.
b
lum
Co
1
Okanogan — The Washington Dept. of
Energy has issued stop-diversion orders
to 80 growers along the Okanogan and
Similkameen rivers, citing low flows
and a lack of rain and snowfall. “Any
time you have water curtailed,
you’re not happy. Everybody’s
tolerating it,” explained Darryl
Olsen, board representative
for the Columbia-Snake
River Irrigators
Association.
ALASKA (U.S.)
Population affected by drought: 10.5 million
Legend
CANADA
D0-Abnormally dry
D1-Drought (moderate)
D2-Drought (severe)
Abnormal
patch of warm
Pacific water
Washington
Date
None D0-4 D1-4 D2-4 D3-4
Current
0% 100 100 86.1
0
3 mo. ago 34.6 65.4 28.1
0
0
1 yr. ago 50.8 49.2 33.4 18.3
0
D4
0
0
0
Oregon
Sea Surface Temperature (SST) deviation from normal, degrees Fahrenheit*
ºF
-1.8 -0.9
D4-Drought
(exceptional)
Intensity of drought by percent area affected
U.S.
HAWAII
SST base
period:
1981-2010
D3-Drought
(extreme)
0
0.9 1.8 2.7 3.6 4.5
5.4 6.3
*Aggregate average SST for June 2015. Intervals are 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Date
None D0-4 D1-4 D2-4
Current
0% 100 100 83.7
3 mo. ago 14.4 85.6 82.3 47.9
1 yr. ago 6.1 93.9 72.8 52
D3-4
34.1
33.7
14.7
D4
0
0
0
Source: National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln