2 water issues making news here: Deschutes River basin in drought area and concerns over vanishing glaciers
“Thurston’s Deschutes River watershed added to state’s drought emergency list”
“The Deschutes River watershed in Thurston County is among the vast portions of Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has added to an emergency drought declaration he first made in April.
“On Monday [May 20], Inslee expanded the drought emergency declaration to cover nearly half of Washington state because of poor water supply and warmer, drier weather predictions this summer, according to a Department of Ecology news release.
“Snow pack is less than half of average for this time of year, according to Ecology. Ecology experts expect the warmer, drier weather to cause the smaller snow pack to melt more quickly, reducing water availability this summer when it is needed most for farms, communities and fish.
“Rainfall for the state remains below normal, Ecology said in the release, by The Olympian Staff.
“Vanishing mountain glaciers will kill off ecosystems and the creatures within them”
“When it was built in the early 1900s, the road into Mount Rainier National Park from the west passed near the foot of the Nisqually Glacier, one of the mountain’s longest. Visitors could stop for ice cream at a stand built among the glacial boulders and gaze in awe at the ice.
“The ice cream stand is long gone, and so is the ice. The glacier now ends more than a mile farther up the mountain.
“As surely as they are melting elsewhere around the world, glaciers are disappearing in North America, too.
“This great melting will affect ecosystems and the creatures within them, like the salmon that spawn in meltwater streams. This is on top of the effects on the water that billions of people drink, the crops they grow and the energy they need,” by Henry Fountain, The New York Times.