Gov. Jay Inslee declares drought emergency in North Central Washington
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency on Thursday, based on water supply shortages in the Methow, Okanogan and Upper Yakima basins.
Inslee’s declaration came in response to the Washington Department of Ecology’s forecast of summer water supplies, which has projected that the coming months will be warmer and drier than usual.
The Department of Ecology has been keeping a particularly close eye on regions in North Central Washington. Prime agricultural regions, water supply shortages in those areas could have a particularly negative impact on crop growth.
“We must take steps to ensure that Washingtonians have the water they need to sustain their farms and livestock,” Inslee said in a statement on Thursday.
“Climate change means that we will continue to see lower water supplies all over the state and we need to plan now for the impact.”
In order to fund projects that could potentially aid rural communities in times of drought, the Washington Department of Ecology has requested $2 million from the state Office of Financial Management.
In the meantime, the Department of Ecology is asking growers to prepare for limited water supplies.
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