Governor Kotek Declares First Drought Emergency of Year

For the first time this year, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek’s declared a drought emergency.  This one affects Jefferson County.

The governor says the effects of a multi-year drought have yet to improve throughout the Deschutes River Basin, and rainfall has been below average in Jefferson County since 2018.

Washington State declared parts of its region in drought.  In mid June, Washington declared drought and has a drought definition written into the state statute.

This week, Karin Bombacco with the Washington State Climatologist’s office, talked about the drought across the region.

“This year, they were really looking at the lack of snow throughout Washington,  and whether there are expected to be hardships due to that lack of water…Jefferson County in Oregon requested a declaration in April. It works a little bit different in Oregon where counties request to the state,” she said.

The forecast for water supply is not expected to improve. Droughts have significant impacts, on farming, ranching, recreation, tourism, natural resources, drinking water, fish, and wildlife.

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