Drought conditions

Possible drought conditions in 2021

State map with county lines. Drought advisory in the counties listed on page. No in advisory: Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thur
A drought advisory is now in effect for many counties across the state. Washington is facing one of the driest springs on record. Melting snowpack should keep many rivers and streams above normal, but some lower elevation and rain-fed watersheds are forecast to experience unusually low runoff.

A drought advisory promotes awareness of dry conditions in areas where water supply is below normal. No drought emergencies have been declared at this time.

The following counties are included in the drought advisory:

County A-D County F-L County O-Y
Adams Ferry Okanogan
Asotin Franklin Pacific
Benton Garfield Pend Oreille
Chelan Grant Skamania
Clallam (western half) Grays Harbor Spokane
Clark Jefferson (western half) Stevens
Columbia Kittitas Wahkiakum
Cowlitz Klickitat Walla Walla
Douglas Lewis (western half) Whitman
  Lincoln Yakima

Lower elevation areas may face curtailment due to low local streamflows. Eastern Washington areas are facing extremely dry soil conditions. The city of Spokane, which operates the second largest water system in the state, is asking customers to take steps immediately to use less water during these drought conditions to limit the impacts on water resources — the Spokane River and the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. See www.waterwisespokane.org for information on water saving efforts.

The Puget Sound area, which benefits from mountain snowpack and more precipitation, is not under drought advisory at this time. Based on current conditions and forecasts, the Seattle regional area, Everett, and Tacoma have sufficient water supply for people and fish this summer. Over the summer, the utilities will monitor water supplies and encourage customers to use water wisely.

Stay informed

A drought advisory is a new process to promote early awareness of possible drought. Depending on upcoming weather conditions, drought advisory areas may face drought emergency in the near future. If you rely on your own well or pump for your water supply, you may be subject to curtailment (shut off or reduced use) to protect senior water rights. Contact your Ecology regional office if you have questions about your own legal water use.

Watch here for upcoming information about this season’s forecasts and drought conditions.

Conserve water

We encourage voluntary conservation of water in areas of drought advisory. Using less water now means more will be available if dry conditions continue through the season.