The Yakima Basin Fish & Wildlife Recovery Board (YBFWRB) and many of its member governments participate in the working group convened by the Washington Department of Ecology and the US Bureau of Reclamation to develop theYakima Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.

This ambitious effort brings diverse interests together to solve water issues in the Yakima Basin. The plan, developed between 2009 and 2011, calls for a wide range of actions to support agricultural water users, local communities and the Yakima Basin’s fish and wildlife populations. Proposals include building new and expanded reservoirs, providing fish passage at all Reclamation dams in the Basin, improving irrigation and water delivery infrastructure, and investing in fish and wildlife habitat protection and improvement projects.

Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Meeting
Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Meeting
Photo Credit: D. Church

It is anticipated that the plan would be implemented through a mix of federal and state legislation and funding. YBFWRB staff and partners have worked to:

  1. Ensure that the plan incorporates the habitat and instream flow restoration actions identified in the Yakima Steelhead Recovery Plan;
  2. Identify specific actions and funding amounts for fish habitat actions incorporated into the plan;
  3. Provide estimates of the potential benefits of proposed fish habitat and instream flow actions.

Copies of the plan and more information about this planning process are available from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project and from the Department of Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River.