By Marcy Stamper
Methow Valley News 

Drought emergency officially declared for Methow, Okanogan watersheds by DOE


Last updated 8/2/2023 at 4pm

Marcy Stamper, Methow Valley News

The drought declaration allows irrigators and others experiencing hardship from lack of water to apply for emergency water rights and grants. There is also funding available for long-term conservation measures.

The Methow watershed is officially under a drought emergency. Okanogan County is one of 12 counties across the state hit with a drought declaration by the Washington Department of Ecology on Monday (July 24). The Okanogan watershed is also in a drought emergency.

Ecology declares a drought when there is less than 75% of normal water supply and the corresponding risk of undue hardship to irrigators, households and businesses. The rest of the state is under a drought advisory, a warning to water users to be extra-careful with water because supplies are so low.

While the drought declaration puts people on notice that water supplies are already perilously low, it doesn't restrict water usage or impose mandatory conservation measures.

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