New Resource for Water and Drought Management: 2020 PNW Water Year Assessment

The 2020 Pacific Northwest Water Year Assessment summarizes the water year conditions and connects these conditions with impacts experienced by farmers, water managers, fisheries managers, and more. This assessment was developed in conjunction with the annual water year meeting in October 2020. The authors will develop a similar assessment each year as part of the water year review and they hope it will serve as a resource for managing drought and other climate-related impacts.

Two of the lead authors on the report – Crystal Raymond and Karin Bumbaco – are from the UW Climate Impacts Group and the Office of the Washington State Climatologist, respectively. The Oregon State Climatologist, and Idaho Department of Water Resources also developed the report with support from National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and state and regional partners.

In water year 2020, most of Oregon experienced a significant drought with dominant impacts that included wildfires, agricultural and livestock losses and limited outdoor recreation. Drought in Washington and Idaho was not as widespread or significant, with localized drought in a few basins in south-central Idaho and east of the Cascade Mountain crest in central Washington. Washington and Oregon also experienced major flood events in February; those impacts and others are highlighted in the assessment.

 Access the Assessment

Please contact Karin Bumbao (kbumbaco@uw.edu) or Crystal Raymond (clrfire@uw.edu) if you have any questions on this assessment or comments for future assessments.