Better use of the Yakima River basin’s existing water supplies is a necessary part of any plan to improve water management and improve the overall health of the Yakima watershed. The Yakima Basin Integrated Plan improves water management by:
- Investing up to $400 million in water conservation and efficiency, saving up to 170,000 acre feet of water to stretch water supplies and improve river flows for fish.
- Establishing a more robust water market to move water from lower value to higher value crops, especially in drought years.
- Improving groundwater management and recharging groundwater to improve water quality and late summer river flows for the benefit of salmon.
- Expanding Bumping Lake Reservoir to increase flows for agricultural use and salmon migration toward the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
- Constructing Wymer Dam and reservoir in a side canyon of the lower Yakima Canyon, which could allow for removal of Roza Dam from the mainstem Yakima River.
- Reoperating existing dams to work better for fish, allowing for better flows in key river reaches, including the upper Yakima River below Lake Keechelus and in the stretches of the Yakima River below Roza and Chandler dams.
- Accessing more water already stored behind Lake Kachess in drought years by building a new water withdrawal system closer to the bottom of the existing dam.