Department of Ecology says a better system is needed for drought declaration


It seems like every week this summer we have seen more of the country enter drought. However, one spot that is getting better is eastern Washington state.

The Department of Ecology lifted its drought declaration this week. Pam Lewison with Washington Policy Center’s Initiative on Agriculture suggests that the system for these declarations needs to be better.

“We need to figure out how to make drought declarations more responsive, more quickly, and I think that involves a smaller committee format with a stronger sense of urgency in that committee about how to assess actual on-the-ground conditions for water... and then I think the last thing is, one the back end, there really does need to be a serious consideration given to, you know, do we extend an existing drought declaration based on what the next year’s water condition looks like,” according to Lewison.

An earlier report incorrectly stated that the Department of Ecology wanted a better system for drought declaration.


How is California addressing the water crisis?

Ongoing drought is causing a Western water crisis

Senate ag leaders address the Western water crisis

How crops are faring in the U.S. as the drought spreads