The Okanogan Conservation District, in partnership with the Washington Departments of Ecology, State Health, Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Conservation Commission, and Washington Emergency Management Division, will host two drought information open houses on May 9 and 10.
The May 9 open house will be at the Twisp Valley Grange, while the May 10 event will be at the Okanogan PUD auditorium, 1331 Second Ave. N. in Okanogan. Both meetings will start at 1 p.m. and should be done by 3:30 p.m.
The meetings will include a presentation by Washington Department of Ecology about the current situation and the actions taken by the state to date. Attendees will be invited to meet with participating agencies and nonprofit organizations, such as the Okanogan Conservation District and Methow Watershed Council, to talk about resources for those who are concerned about drought impacts.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a drought declaration for the Okanogan, Methow, and Upper Yakima Watersheds on April 4. At that time, the Methow River was estimated to have just 72% of normal flows, while the Okanogan was predicted to be around 58% of normal, according to a press release from the Okanogan Conservation District. Many irrigators may have water turned off due to low in-stream flows, the press release said, and there may be additional impacts to agriculture and other sectors.