Friday, August 21, 2015

Help us tell the story: Half of state in “extreme drought”

Send us your photos of dry river beds, fish kills, crop losses

By Dan Partridge, communications manager, Water Resources Program

The U.S. Drought Monitor now considers half of Washington to be in “extreme drought.” The entire state is classified as being in “severe drought.”

As fires rage in Eastern Washington and low stream flows are turning some rivers and streams into beds of bare rocks and boulders, it’s essential that we document the drought’s impacts and what’s being done to mitigate the hardships from those conditions. And we need your help to do that.

Find updates as they happen on our drought page

This week, we posted a more streamlined Washington Drought 2015 Web page that provides links to the latest fire information, air quality alerts about smoke from the fires, and information about how the drought is impacting our communities, farms and migrating salmon. The page also allows you to track the work Ecology and our partners are doing to relieve the rapidly mounting hardships across the state. We are also spotlighting the water conservation work of our cities, towns and irrigation districts with a weekly blog series.

Story of the drought in pictures, charts and graphs

In conjunction with the new Web page, we have posted a Washington State 2015 Drought Photo Tour. At this site, you will find photos of scant snowpack, streams reduced to a trickle and charts and graphs that illustrate what is shaping up to be the state’s worst drought in modern history.

Submit your photos

Ecology is working with the state departments of Agriculture, Health and Fish & Wildlife to provide information, photos and analysis, but we also need the public’s help in documenting the impacts of the drought. If you see dry stream beds, wildlife struggling to get to water, fish stranded in shallow pools or crops dying in the fields, fill out this simple form and submit your photos for the Drought Photo Tour.

Your contribution will alert staff to conditions they may not be aware of and help us in our efforts to alleviate hardships across the state from a drought that shows no signs of subsiding soon.

Below is one of our stories of declining river flows:

No comments: