Southlane

Failure to fill: Willamette Valley reservoirs need more rain

Failure to fill: Willamette Valley reservoirs need more rain

Willamette Valley reservoirs most likely will not fill this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today. "With rainfall about 75 percent of normal now, we need a very wet spring to fill the reservoirs," said Dustin Bengtson, Willamette Valley Project operations manager. "The longer we go without any significant rain, the less ability we have to fill them." The Corps relies primarily on rainfall during April, May and early June to fill its system of 13 reservoirs in the Willamette River basin. Snow pack provides about 10 percent of the reservoirs' total water storage; through March, snow pack was about 40 percent of normal.

"We track the long-range forecasts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to understand the conditions we might face," explained Bengtson. "Their most recent projections indicate flows will be about 75 percent of average through September."

Fern Ridge, Dorena and Cottage Grove are the only reservoirs expected to fill.