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Reclamation completes Yakima River basin study

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2/32/12 (PennWell) -- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region and the Washington State Department of Ecology have completed their Yakima River Basin Study.

The US$2.64 million project is one of three initiated in 2009 under Reclamation's WaterSMART Basin Study Program, which sought to address water resource imbalances within the river basin. Information from the study was in turn used to develop the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Program.

Reclamation says its study builds on the efforts previously carried out under the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRGWEP) but provides a more refined analysis of water needs and climate change impacts.

When combined with previous YRBWEP work, Reclamation's team has used its research to define strategies for resolving water supply and streamflow imbalances and ecosystem restoration enhancement projects.

The reports, titled "Yakima River Basin Study: Volume 1, Proposed Integrated Water Resource Management Plan" and "27 Associated Technical Memoranda on Plan Elements and Analyses (Volume 2)," are available at Reclamation's website.

Reclamation solicited public commentary on a draft environmental impact statement in December 2011 that outlined several courses of action and their potential effects on the basin.

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