Washington State Keeps Drought Emergency Status In 8 Counties

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Despite a cool and wet spring, the Washington Department of Ecology has issued an amended drought emergency declaration for watersheds in eight eastern Washington counties effective June 1.

Under Thursday’s declaration, five watersheds spanning parts of Spokane, Lincoln, Grant, Adams, Whitman, Stevens, Okanogan and Pend Oreille counties will remain in “drought emergency” status.

All other counties east of the Cascade Range will be downgraded to “drought advisory” status.

Counties west of the Cascades no longer fall under drought conditions.

A drought can be declared when the water supply in an area is below 75% of normal.

Declaring a drought emergency allows Ecology to process emergency water rights permits and expedite requests for emergency water right transfers.

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