Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency in three areas of the state Friday and announced a Department of Ecology request for $9 million from the Legislature for relief.
With snowpack conditions in the state near record low levels, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a drought emergency in three areas Friday, and announced a Department of Ecology request for $9 million from the Legislature for relief.
Inslee’s declaration mainly covers watersheds on the Olympic Peninsula, the Walla Walla region and the area east of the central Cascade Mountains, including Yakima and Wenatchee.
Water supplies in the Seattle, Tacoma and Everett areas are OK, according to Inslee’s office.
Said Andy Ryan, spokesman for Seattle Public Utilities: “We have sufficient water for the summer right now.”
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According to the Department of Ecology, snowpack statewide is 27 percent of normal. It is just 7 percent of normal in the Olympic Mountains, ranges from 8 to 45 percent of normal across the Cascades, and is 67 percent of normal in the Walla Walla region.
Inslee’s news release noted that the snowpack helps sustain farms and fish during the summer and said relief money would go toward agriculture and fisheries projects, emergency water-right permits and more.
David Postman, Inslee’s spokesman, said the aid likely would be requested through a supplemental budget, separate from the main biennial budget. The Legislature would have to pass the budget before money is appropriated.