Tuesday May 31, 2022

The Chronicle

For the Chehalis River Basin, models show that over time, climate change is highly likely to alter the landscape as communities know it today.

In reports sent to The Chronicle by the Grays Harbor Conservation District and the Office of the Chehalis Basin, models show warmer temperatures, longer dry seasons and more floods.

Mara Zimmerman, executive director of the Coast Salmon Partnership and Foundation, summarized the effects on the Chehalis Basin in the same three categories.

These impacts combined would amplify perhaps the biggest issue in the Chehalis Basin: there is too much water for part of the year, and not enough for the rest.

With warmer water temperatures, salmon would have fewer places to spawn and survive. In longer and hotter dry seasons, junior water rights holders would have their rights curtailed more regularly, resulting in shorter irrigation seasons and other economic repercussions. With more rain in the winter, catastrophic flooding is predicted to become more frequent and damaging.

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