Water Conservation


Comparison of Yakima River flows during water short years illustrates the amount of water conservation by users


       This graph shows the effect to in-stream flows over a decade of collective conservation efforts by Yakima Basin farmers and irrigators. The black line represents 2001 flow, the gray line shows the monthly average flow during the low water years of 1992-1994, and the blue line represents average flow during the low water years of 1973, 1977, 1979. 


       The Yakima River has enjoyed a notable increase of over 350 cfs (cubic feet per second) in a study comparing water short years. This equals a total savings of more than 125,000 acre-feet of water. This water savings is the result of successful on-farm Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation.

       Landowners have increased their water use efficiency a number of ways. Some solutions are as easy as implementing management changes to more closely monitor water use. Another option is upgrading to a delivery system that decreases demand and use. Some farmers make use of high-tech tools like soil moisture probes--devices that allow them to monitor and better manage their irrigation practices.

       The RSBOJC has also taken a proactive role to increase water conservation and efficiency. Many miles of SVID and RID canals have been lined to prevent seepage, and several miles of open lateral are piped every year to enable incremental pricing while eliminating any loss of water to evaporation or seepage.

     Together, these changes have resulted in significant flow increases in the Yakima River.


Related Topics:

Return to Conservation & Water Quality main page (click here).

Click here to learn more about settling basins and other water quality methods.

Click here for information about the RSBOJC Wetland Project.

Click here for more information about the RSBOJC Water Quality Policy


Recent Drain Study Reports   


Click here to read the RSBOJC Fish Survey Report.

Click here to read the RSBOJC Drain Habitat Report (pages 1-48)

Click here to read the RSBOJC Drain Habitat Report Appendix (data)




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