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 ( or Crystal Raymond ( if you have any questions on this assessment or comments for future assessments.


REGISTER: Oregon-Washington Water Year Meeting, October 28 & 29

The Oregon-Washington Water Year 2020 Recap & 2021 Outlook Meeting will be held as two virtual meetings on the mornings of October 28 and 29. The annual water year meeting is an opportunity to review climate-related impacts of the previous water year and learn about the forecast for the upcoming water year.

In addition to hearing from the forecast experts, both days will include time for discussion and peer-to-peer learning. We encourage participation from a wide range of sectors including utilities, agriculture and forestry.


Day 1: October 28; 9 a.m. to noon P.T.

The first day will feature a recap of the 2020 water year with a focus on extremes — from winter flooding to drought to wildfire. Given the incredible impacts in Oregon this year, the meeting will feature events and impacts from Oregon and also cover key impacts in Washington.

Day 2: October 29; 9 a.m. to noon P.T.

The second day will feature the Outlook for the 2021 water year, as well as new resources that can be used to plan and prepare for the future climate and climate-related events.

View agenda

This year we have a survey to gather information about impacts that occurred during the 2020 water year due to abnormally dry or abnormally wet conditions, as well as actions taken to prevent or minimize impacts. Please complete the survey to share your knowledge about impacts. We look forward to discussing the results and getting your feedback on the survey at the meeting.

Complete survey 

This event is hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, and the Office of the Washington State Climatologist with planning committee participation from the Oregon Climate Service, Oregon State University’s Climate Impacts and Research Consortium, the Oregon Water Resources Department, the WA Department of Ecology, and USDA Northwest Climate Hub and Natural Resources Conservation Service.