Statewide conditions

Conditions as of Sept. 13, 2018
 
​Recent rain is helping Washington’s rivers rebound after an exceptionally dry summer. Recovery will take time, but healthier streamflow levels are good news for communities that experienced water use restrictions this summer. It’s also good news for migrating fish. Shorter, cooler days mean less demand for water by cities and farms and less uptake and transpiration from plants, too.
 
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 roundup of water supply conditions.

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

The September 13, 2018, U.S. Drought Monitor map shows severe drought-like conditions in Southwest Washington

U.S. Drought Monitor map

This map by the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Sept. 13, shows severe drought conditions continuing in Southwestern Washington and the Southern Puget Sound area. Moderate drought conditions extend across both sides of the Cascade mountain range and along the Canadian border. The remainder of the state is abnormally dry.
 
We use this map and others to help track the state’s water supply. Currently, every western state is experiencing some level of drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This September 13, 2018 USGS Streamflow map shows average stream levels over the past week compared to historic records. Streamflows are improving thanks to recent rainfall. Fewer areas are experiencing very low flows and conditions have improved in the driest parts of the state: the southwestern corner and Olympic Peninsula. We will update this map weekly.

Streamflows

This USGS map from Sept. 13 shows average stream levels over the past week compared to historic records. Streamflows are improving thanks to recent rainfall. Fewer areas are experiencing very low flows and conditions have improved in the driest parts of the state: the southwestern corner and Olympic Peninsula. 

Water supply updates

We are providing weekly updates about statewide water supply 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.