2023 began with promise for Washington’s rivers and streams. Reservoirs were full, soils were refilling with slowly melting snow, and Washington skiers were enjoying the slopes later in the season than usual. However, three months later, Washington was facing the reality of yet another extreme drought. What happened? And how would water resource professionals respond?
We have good news to report from eastern Washington! We recently closed a major water right acquisition in the Walla Walla River Basin and streamflow monitoring is showing that our long-term efforts to keep the Teanaway River flowing in the face of climate change and drought are succeeding.
Dry Farming and Water Sustainability in the Walla Walla River Basin: Sharing the Research of Stanford Sustainable Waters Intern Tida Rau
Today, I am eager to tell you about Tida Rau, our Sustainable Waters Intern from The Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, who was nothing short of phenomenal in her role. A member of the Yakama and Lummi nations, Tida possesses a rare fusion of academic prowess and deep cultural understanding. Remarkable individuals like Tida are who will guide us on the path to a sustainable water future.
Washington Water Trust was founded in 1998 to forge a new path for restoring water to local rivers and streams. More than 25 years and hundreds of water transactions later, our collaborative approach continues delivering incredible results! Explore our 2022 Annual Report and get current on Washington Water Trust.
WWT seeks a team-oriented, motivated, and resilient Project Associate with a passion for rivers and streams. The Project Associate is a full-time position based in Seattle which provides critical support to WWT Project Managers in identifying, developing, and implementing flow restoration projects alongside landowners, tribes, conservation districts, land trusts, as well as local, state, and federal agencies.
In case you missed it amid all the headlines of wildfires, heat domes, and reservoirs drying up around the world, here in Washington our Department of Ecology declared a drought emergency in 12 counties on Monday. The rest of the state is under a drought advisory. This drought will be hard on Washington’s fish and we’re working to reduce its impact.
“We are encouraged by all of you – our friends, supporters and partners – that see the writing on the wall; that recognize the urgent need to put water back instream so that our rivers, streams, fish, and communities here in Washington can be more resilient; so that we can have water flowing abundantly in our landscapes, bringing us joy and feeding our spirits.” - James Kraft, Executive Director
The Teanaway River, a critical tributary in the Yakima basin for salmon, steelhead and trout, struggled for many years, often running dry. Watch our new short film Teanaway: A Stream Flows Again to see how people are coming together to help the river make a comeback.
On July 14th the Washington State Department of Ecology declared a drought emergency for the entire state with the exception of Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett. Despite substantial snowpack accumulation over the winter and promising water supply forecasts, the second driest spring in Washington since 1895 combined with high temperatures this summer has led to acute snow melt and critical conditions for Washington’s freshwater.