Tag Archives: El Nino

Good News For Washington Drought Watchers

flower-768115_640The drought that hit Washington state in 2015 has been nearly eradicated due to heavy rains and snow to ring in 2016. According to the the U.S. Drought Monitor, the south-east corner of the state is still in moderate drought, but with a high percentage of Washington’s water supply coming from snowpack accumulations and which statewide are more than 100 percent of normal for this time of year, most Washingtonians are sitting pretty when it comes to water supplies since forecasts for the April-September runoff period are within the normal range.

What does this mean for the future of water conservation in Washington state?

According to its website, “The Water Supply Availability Committee (WSAC) will continue to meet in 2016 to evaluate current and forecasted water supply conditions and to consider whether drought conditions are likely to be in effect spring and summer.  This web page is provided to track the meeting information for this group.

The 2015 statewide drought declaration expired December 31, 2015.  Forecasts for January thru March 2016 are for warmer, drier conditions as a result of El Niño. Ecology will continue to evaluate conditions and monitor water supplies.”

What does this mean for folks who use water in Washington state?

RainBank had a busy first quarter designing and installing rainwater collection systems in the Puget Sound area and Portland, OR. These were projects where residents and businesses wanted to capture the El Niño driven rains for drinking, irrigation, toilet and/or laundry facilities. Some will use their systems to supplement well or city water, while others are able to go completely off-grid and use rainwater to supply all of their needs.

We don’t have to wait for drought to set our conservation plans in motion. Be proactive and contact RainBank today to learn how you can include rainwater harvesting in your new construction or remodeling project. We work closely with general contractors and architects to design and construct the most efficient, well-constructed system you can find anywhere in the country. We stand by our systems, many of which are still operating after 15 years.

Good News for Seattle Rainwater Collection Community

The Space Needle appears upside down in raindrops on the window of a car in January. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)
The Space Needle appears upside down in raindrops on the window of a car in January. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

The Seattle Times reports, “Between the beginning of December and Thursday night, a total of 22.78 inches of rain fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the official climate station for Seattle. The winter months have also been warmer than usual in Seattle, with no measurable snow and higher than average temperatures in December and February.”

If El Niño predictions of a warmer wetter Spring are correct, rainwater harvesters in Seattle can expect their cisterns to remain at high levels leading into summer.

Our neighbors to the South in California have seen increased rainfall this winter, but are already hoping for a wetter Spring. “Sacramento is in the peak of it’s rainy season, but there is no substantial rain in the forecast. The Sierra snowpack has fallen below normal levels for this time of year.” reported by the Sacramento Bee. Jan Null, a private consultant with Golden Weather Services explains, “This year’s winter is yet another reminder that El Niños are unpredictable and any long-range weather forecast is suspect. The nexus of warm water in the Pacific is farther West than usual this year. That is a factor in determining where the rainfall will fall.”

According to federal water planners, surface and groundwater supplies available now will not meet water demands in the future. In order to meet the demand, we must conserve water and develop alternative supplies now. The American Rainwater Catchment Association (ARCSA) advocates that one solution is rainwater collection, which captures, diverts, stores, uses, and returns water to the aquifers by infiltration. Rainwater can be used for irrigation, and livestock watering. If properly filtered it is a great source for laundry and toilette facility. Captured rainwater, after being properly treated can be used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

RainBank Rainwater Systems has been part of this conservation movement for more than 15 years, with designs and installs throughout the Pacific Northwest for commercial and residential systems. We are the Northwest Master Dealer for Contain Water Tanks Inc. and dealer of Wisy products. RainBank offers dealership opportunities for those who are wanting to expand their business in water conservation and rainwater collection. RainBank Rainwater Systems offers ARCSA accredited system designs, permitting, in house engineering, licensed plumbers, and a progressive approach.

Use the form below to contact us about becoming a dealer.

Good News For Drought Watchers

Washington State Drought MonitorHere’s some good news for Washington state drought watchers – the Department of Ecology has lifted the drought emergency and the governor’s Executive Water Emergency Committee recommends the drought declaration not be continued for this year.

More Good News

Heavy rains and snow have pulled Western Washington completely out of the woods, with the eastern portion of the state quickly following suit. The  U.S. Drought Monitor still shows eastern Washington in the dry to moderate zone, but compared with the report from just three months ago, the turnaround is sizable.

Since much of Washington’s water supply comes from snowpack accumulations, and which are more than 100 percent of normal for this time of year, current conditions just don’t meet the criteria required for the declaration of a drought emergency.

Weather forecasts for through March are for warmer, drier conditions as a result of El Niño, so Washington’s Water Supply Advisory Committee will continue to monitor water supply.