City Encourages Water Conservation During Drought Conditions

With nearly all of Washington, including Yakima County, in a state-wide drought, City of Yakima officials encourage water conservation during what is expected to be a dry spring and summer.

“As we manage our water supply for both our domestic and irrigation systems throughout the summer months, we ask all of our customers to use our water wisely and help us conserve this valuable resource,” said Water/Irrigation Manager Mike Shane.

Water-saving tips can be found at Make every drop count! | Points of Interest (

Examples include:

  • Water the lawn early morning or evening. Avoid watering during the heat of the day or when it is windy.
  • Check toilets for leaks.
  • Don’t let the sink run while wetting your toothbrush, brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
  • Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This eliminates letting the tap run while waiting for the water to get cold.

The City of Yakima provides domestic water service to over 72,000 residents, as well as commercial, industrial and institutional customers. Its main source is the surface water supply from the Naches River through the City’s Water Treatment Plant (WTP). 

On May 21st, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began prorationing water supplies for junior water right holders in the Yakima River Basin due to expected drought conditions. Prorationing is currently set at 54 percent, which means junior water right holders are only allowed to take 54% of their surface water right. Senior water rights are unaffected.

“The City of Yakima’s domestic surface water supply is made up of both junior and senior water rights,” said Shane. “So, when prorationing occurs during storage control, our surface water supply is reduced due to our junior water rights, but our senior water right is not.”

The City also has a secondary water supply in the form of four deep groundwater wells.

“These are a backup to our surface water supply,” Shane said. “If system demands cannot be met by the WTP, we can supplement the supply with our groundwater wells. The wells ensure we have sufficient water supply during prorationing.”

Contact Water/Irrigation Manager Mike Shane at 509-576-6480 with any questions about the City of Yakima water supply.

Click Water and Irrigation – City of Yakima ( for more about City water and irrigation services.

Click Drought Response – Washington State Department of Ecology for the Washington State Department of Ecology’s statewide drought declaration issued on April 16th.