Kittitas Reclamation District News



The Dept. of Ecology has provided information on Emergency Drought Well Pre-applications.  Click here.



On April 4, 2019 the Bureau of Reclamation announced the April forecast for the 2019 Yakima basin water supply. The Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima basin indicates the water supply that junior water right holders will receive is estimated to be at 77 percent of entitlement for this irrigation season. As a result of the current conditions and this forecast the Kittitas Reclamation District (KRD) has set the water allotment for 2019 at 2 cubic feet per second which equals 4 acre feet per assessed acre. The turn on date at the KRD Easton diversion is scheduled to start on April 15th. The KRD will start accepting water orders on April 22, 2019. It is important to remember that the April forecast for the year is based on flows, precipitation, snow pack and reservoir storage as of April 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the snowmelt and the demand for water also are critical in determining stream flows, proration levels and the extent to which the reservoirs fill.


Water wins for Eastern Washington - Congress approves Western water plans, boosts Bureau of Reclamation budget:


Rep. Schrier Lauds Passage of Lands Package and Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Bill:


Dry weather means water rationing, complete shut off for some in Yakima Valley:


KRD Board of Directors have set the turn on date for the 2018 season to be April 14th.  Water orders will be taken beginning April 18th.  There will be a full allotment: set at 2.5 cfs per assessed acre.


Currently, water supplies for the 2018 season look good. The Yakima Basin has had 133% of average precipitation and snowpack is near average:


Kittitas Reclamation District Manager testifies on behalf of the Yakima Basin Working Group:

Mr. Urban Eberhart of Ellensburg, Secretary/Manager of Kittitas Reclamation District and a farmer, testified at the hearing on behalf of The Yakima Basin Working Group in support of the legislation.

“We are tremendously grateful to Representative Dan Newhouse and Representative Dave Reichert for their tireless work in supporting the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan and for introducing this legislation. They understand how important the Integrated Plan is to the Yakima River Basin, the State of Washington, and the Yakama Nation, and have been looking for ways to move the authorization for the Integrated Plan forward through the House and Senate, then on to the President’s desk.”


KRD Board of Directors have set the turn on date to be no later than April 14th at our diversion from Lake Easton. Water orders will start to be taken on April 17th. The allotment was set at 2.5 cfs or 5 acre-feet per assessed acre.

WSDA estimates 2015 drought damage topped $700 million in Washington State.

The KRD is mentioned in this article: Invest in Western irrigation infrastructure for big dividends

The National Drought Resilience Partnership Annual Report highlights KRD's efforts:

"In 2016, the Yakima Integrated Workgroup accomplishments included:  Continuation of the successful 2015 tributary supplementation program spearheaded by the Kittitas Reclamation District in partnership with the Yakama Nation, State and Federal agencies agreed to deliver water to creeks during the 2015 drought, thus rescuing ESA-listed species from being stranded in dry creek beds. Historically, no irrigation district in the Yakima Basin has ever used their infrastructure to help endangered fish."

The Drake fly fishing magazine has an article on the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan and KRD's tributary supplementation here:
The promise of a plan in the Yakima Basin

Chrsitian Science Monitor looks at the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan:



Water supply update: the KRD expects to run water until October 15th for the 2016 irrigation season.



The Bureau of Reclamation's June water supply forecast is out, with an estimated 86% supply for junior water rights.…



The KRD reminds everyone to be safe around our facilities. See this article that describes drowning hazards in and around irrigation canals.


KRD operation and maintenance roads (O&M) are restricted use roads. No general public access is authorized. The KRD does permit use of certain O&M roads for specific reasons. Landowners who have agricultural access needs may be authorized use of O&M roads adjacent to their property. There is no authorized use of O&M roads for recreation by adjacent landowners or the general public. No permission has been given to adjacent landowners or the general public to walk, ride bikes, horseback ride, rock hunt, ride snowmobiles or ORVs, hunt, or gain access to private property using KRD O&M roads.

Kittitas Reclamation District is concerned when both people and animals enter our concrete lined canals and become injured or killed.

Our facilities have warning signs for your safety. In is important to remember that all KRD canals, roads and facilities are restricted areas that are not open for public access. Any use of KRD facilities without prior authorization is trespassing.


Here is an updated estimate from the Bureau on our water supply for this summer. We received this Mid-May updated water supply forecast estimate from the Yakima Field Office on Friday afternoon. River Operations Engineer Chris Lynch describes below that the longer we can operate on Natural Runoff Proportion (NRP) this spring, the better off we will be. Hopefully the weather will continue to moderate enough for us to make it into early June before the system goes on Storage Control. If so we will make it through this year okay. We will keep everyone updated as we get more information and this water year continues to develop.


Fri 5/20/2016 2:10 PM

From: Lynch, Christopher - River Operations Engineer, Yakima Field Office, Bureau of Reclamation

To: Kittitas Reclamation District - Urban Eberhart.

Mid-May update of the Yakima Basin TWSA forecast and use of NRP

The YFO has looked at the mid-May water supply forecasts and found that the May 1, TWSA forecast is still representative of basin conditions although it may show a slight decline come June 1.  We found that the various forecasts provided between about 67% and 100% prorationing with a likely value in the 75% to 85% range.  The next official TWSA is scheduled to be presented on June 3, 10:30 in the YFO conf room.

We would also like to remind users that application of the Natural Runoff Proportion (NRP) this spring would help stretch the water supply.  The system currently has ample water but as the available flows decline the NRP would help delay the date the system goes on storage control.

During the NRP operation the irrigation diversions are voluntarily limited so that the natural flow provides for the demands without the need to release water from the Yakima Project Storage reservoirs. During the NRP period the YFO provides a semi-weekly update of the water available from natural flow.  This amount is communicated as a percent of the full entitlements. When NRP is no longer feasible Prorationing will begin.  This happens at the point in time when users call for more water than the NRP provides.

Have a great weekend, Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch, River Operations Engineer,Yakima Field Office, Bureau of Reclamation

1917 Marsh Rd., Yakima, WA  98901-2058


Due to the rapid melting of snow and negligible rainfall in April, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has lowered the forecast of the KRD’s allotment for 2016 to 85% of normal.  This curtailment will begin on the “storage control” date, which is when the Bureau begins releasing water from the reservoirs to meet irrigation demands.  This date varies annually, but is estimated to be during the first week of June this year.  So, from the storage control date on, we will be able divert 85% of our monthly entitlement to the end of the water year, and plan to run until October 15th. 


The KRD started early in 2016 by diverting floodwaters not captured by the reservoirs in the Yakima Project; see: for the current reservoir levels.  April 1st is the earliest turn on since 1988, and because of it, we estimate that our landowners will receive 14,000 acre-feet of water that we would have otherwise been lost.  In addition, the KRD North Branch canal was inundated with flood waters, mostly from Naneum Creek, and we were able to pull that water out of the flooding subbasin and spill it into Wipple Wasteway or deliver it to our landowners.  During the worst of the flooding in April, we removed over 150 cfs that would have otherwise added to the high-water problems around Ellensburg.


5-5-2016 USBR May forecast estimates 85% supply for proratable districts, including the KRD.
4-20-2016 Senate Passes Cantwell’s Yakima Water Bill, a National Model for Addressing Water Challenges through Collaboration.

Yakima Integrated Plan Press Release.
4-8-2016 Daily Record article: Water in KRD canal early this year; allotments are up.
4-8-2016 The Bureau of Reclamation is forecasting a 100% water supply for 2016 irrigation season. 
There has been above average precipitation:
Slightly above average snow:   Storage is above average:
4-7-2016 The KRD Board of Directors set the annual allotment to 2.5 cfs (5 acre-feet) per assessed acre.
3-30-2016 The KRD gets $400K grant for water conservation.
3-23-2016 The Yakima Basin could be a model for national water-management policy after it was highlighted Tuesday during the White House Water Summit in Washington, D.C. 

Family Farm Alliance 2016 White House Water Summit Report: Problem Solvers- A Compilation of Case Studies Highlighting Locally-Driven Solutions to Western Water Resource Challenges.
3-15-2016 The Kittitas Reclamation District will begin priming its canals April 1st, 2016.  Water orders will be taken starting April 6th.  Call 925-6158 from 7:00 AM to 7:45 AM to order water. 
3-14-2016 The Kittitas Reclamation District improves Manastash system.
3-8-2016 The Bureau of Reclamation’s March 2016 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates that there will be a full water supply for both senior and junior water rights this coming irrigation season.
3-7-2016 Yakima Plan introduced in House of Representatives.
3-7-2016 Paul Jewell: Integrated plan benefits us all.
3-4-2016 KRD's Ride 3, which spans from approximately Wilson Creek Road east to Caribou Creek, will be split this year between Mike Minor and Doug Webster.  If you are on North Branch lateral 16.3 through 17.0, call Mike to order water.  If you are on laterals NB17.8 to 23.1, call Doug.
3-4-2016 Newhouse, Reichert Introduce Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Legislation.
2-26-2016 Department of the Interior: Yakima Water Plan Is a “Model” and “Holistic”
1-11-2016 KRD plans rock trap repairs.
12-9-2015 Yakima Basin water plan has great environmental benefits.
12-7-2015 Yakima Basin farmers want more water, sooner.
11-20-2015 Rep. Newhouse holds meeting for water management plan in Yakima:
11-20-2015 U.S. Senate committee approves state water legislation, paving way for federal funds for Yakima Integrated Plan.  See:
10-23-2015 High Country News article: To save Washington's Yakima Basin fish, just add water.

10-19-2015 This River Runs Forever - Iron Horse Brewery Tuesday, October 20
at 6:30pm - 8:00pm in PDT:

Water connects us all, and nowhere is that more true than the Yakima River Basin. Farmers, irrigators, tribes, environmentalists and goverments are working together to conserve and sustain our water - come find out how! View a short film followed by a Q&A with Yakima Valley producers, water managers and conservation groups (oh, and enjoy $3 pints while you're at it!)

This event is free and open to the public.

10-19-2015 Yakima Herald article: Roza Irrigation District to pursue $60M pump system on Lake Kachess.

The Roza Irrigation District’s board of directors voted Thursday to pursue a $60 million pump system to access additional water supplies next summer in case the drought continues.

The Kittitas Reclamation District, which also has junior water rights, has considered joining the plan, but has not yet made a decision.

10-19-2015 Kittitas County Conservation District will be providing a water rights workshop October 26th for irrigation and stockwater users. For more information see:

10-12-2015 The KRD will be ramping down October 15, 2015.

9-25-2015 The US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), on September 24, 2015, revised the October Water Supply Estimate. Based on the revised estimate there will be some October water available for Pro-ratable irrigation districts, including the Kittitas Reclamation District (KRD).

The USBR revised estimate indicates that in October the senior water rights in the Yakima Basin will receive 100% of October entitlements and the Pro-ratable water rights, including the KRD, will receive 39% of October entitlements.

This new water supply estimate from the USBR means that the KRD is now preparing to deliver a limited amount of irrigation water in October to KRD landowners who still had water remaining in their account when the KRD shut off in early August. The October water is only available to those lands that still have water on the books from earlier this year. The October water will not be available to those that have already exhausted their KRD supply earlier in the season. October 1, 2015 is the anticipated start date for deliveries of the October water.

9-21-2015 The Yakima Herald Republic story: Drought forces farmers with junior water rights to get creative.
8-10-2015 The KRD continues to run Yakima Project water through the canals to protect our concrete lined areas from heaving, and to supplement creek flows.  This is non-consumptive water, and is destined for downstream districts.

8-7-2015 News coverage of KRD's early shutdown is here:

8-3-2015 The Bureau of Reclamation's August 2015 Total Water Supply Available forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates a full water supply for senior water rights during this irrigation season, but an estimated 47 percent supply for junior water rights. KRD will shut the gates at Easton August 6th.
7-15-2015 USBR announced that Junior water rights holder's supply is being raised to a 46% supply (a 2% increase). KRD is estimating that our water will last through August 4th.
7-14-2015 KRD Board of Directors adopted resolution 2015-2 which establishes a policy to deal with persons who tamper or interfere with water deliveries. Penalties may include a $500 fine, withholding of further water deliveries, or forwarding of incidents to the Sheriff's office.
7-2-2015 Federal funds proposal for Yakima Integrated Plan, S. 1694.
6-25-2015 See for Yakima Basin Integrated Plan information.
6-25-2015 Ecology and Irrigators Help Fish Survive Drought


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