Drought in Whychus

May 9th, 2015

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Whychus Creek depends entirely on snowmelt for streamflow. With historically low snowpack in the Cascades this winter, water is in very short supply. State water and emergency managers have recommended a drought declaration for Deschutes County, where Whychus Creek is situated; farmers in the area are currently receiving only 30% of their normal allocations.

In previous drought summers, Whychus Creek has run dry. But this year, thanks to the efforts of water managers and recent conservation projects, flows in the creek are expected to remain at about 20 cubic feet per second.

Crook County also declared drought, resulting in reduced deliveries for farmers who rely on the Crooked River. However, the Prineville and Ochoco Reservoirs help buffer the effects of drought.


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