Monday, May 18, 2015

Drought in Washington state will affect rural communities most

Because of the little to nonexistent snow on many mountain ranges in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a statewide drought emergency last Friday.

Snowpack levels are only 16 percent what they usually are, and they are 10 percent lower than in 2005 during the last statewide drought emergency, Natasha Geiling writes for Think Progress. "Rain amounts have been normal, but snow has been scarce. And we're watching what little snow we have quickly disappear."

Inslee said the drought will be "unlike anything we have experienced," Karen Taylor reports for KGMI Radio in Bellingham. The drought will not affect citizens living in populated areas like Seattle as much because they have municipal water, ecology department director Maia Bellon said. However, farmers and rural communities will need assistance from the state to deal with the shortages.

River flow levels might be lower than they have been in 60 years, Inslee said. (Read more)

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