Governor Jay Inslee expanded the drought emergency declaration this morning to cover nearly half of Washington state, including the Wenatchee Watershed. The expansion is due to worsened, poor water supply conditions around the state and warmer and drier weather predictions through the summer.
The declaration includes the cities of Wenatchee, Chelan and Entiat. Snow pack conditions are currently less than 50 percent of average for this time of year. Washington State Department of Ecology experts expect the warmer, drier weather will cause the already-diminished snow pack to melt more quickly, reducing water availability this summer when it is needed most for farms, communities and fish. Despite this past week’s rain, rainfall totals for the state remain below normal. Already included in the Governor’s drought declaration are the Methow and Okanogan basins.