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Statewide conditions

Conditions as of Aug. 16, 2018

Scattered rain this week improved streamflows but about half of the state's rivers remain at below-normal flows. So far, August has been drier than normal and warm — it’s been about three degrees above the average statewide temperature for this time of year. We are closely monitoring water supply conditions and working with other state agencies to track impacts. In some areas, we’re taking steps through curtailment notices and orders to protect river flows.

According to state statute, emergency drought conditions are identified when water supply in an area is 75 percent of normal and there is an expectation of undue hardship because of deficient water supply. Declaring a drought emergency is a formal process based on that statute. We have not declared a drought emergency.

Scroll down to read a detailed round-up of water supply conditions.

See a collection of maps that show summer month average water supply conditions from 2014 to 2018.

The August 14, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor map shows severe drought-like conditions in Southwest Washington.

U.S. Drought Monitor map

This Aug. 16 map by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows severe drought conditions continuing in Southwest Washington. Moderate drought conditions extend across the northern part of the state and across Western Washington. The remainder of the state is abnormally dry.

We use this map and others to help track the state's water supply. This map is updated weekly and we'll share it here. Currently, every western state is experiencing some level of drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This August 14, 2018, map of 7-day streamflows compared to historic record shows low flows mostly on the west side of the state.

Streamflows

This USGS map from Aug.14 shows average stream levels over the past week compared to historic records. We’re seeing below-normal streamflows, mostly in the western portion of the state. Elsewhere, basins are mostly flowing at normal (above the 25th percentile) levels. At this time of year, rivers are approaching their lowest flows, so low flows are normal. We will update this map weekly.

Water supply updates

We are providing weekly updates about water supply in the state broken out in the following categories:
Streamflows
Precipitation
Temperature
Irrigation and drinking water storage reservoirs
Defining drought emergency

What's next

We will convene the Water Supply Availability Committee, a group of water supply experts, at the end of September to assess statewide conditions.