KID Explains Drought Following Wettest Winter Ever
News of flooding in Pullman today and Walla Walla county yesterday and Umatilla county the day before that has many in Tri-Cities scratching their heads: how can KID be warning of a drought?
The answer is simple geography: watersheds received the winter snowfall unequally.
While the Blue Mountains received record snowfall with not enough reservoirs to store the runoff, the Yakima River watershed is from the central Cascades. While there was good skiing for White Pass and Snoqualmie, the snowfall there did not result in a record snow pack. In fact, the snowpack is normal, meaning KID is predicting it will receive 75 percent of the water it needs this summer.
And KID is the last to receive the Yakima River water. Even when there is a lot, all the farms in the Yakima Valley gobble it up and Tri-Cities gets what's left.
And yes, everyone knows Canyon Lakes is run-off, but it's actually a complicated situation with the water rights and why it's allowed to flow.
So don't assume that flooding or runoff in one place means we should be able to water our lawns all we want here. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way and drip lines are being encouraged for summer 2019 -- unless more rain comes.