Lake Tapps Refill Update

Cascade is working hard to put every available drop of water into the reservoir, however, it is unlikely that the reservoir will be at full recreational levels by April 15.
Cascade typically maintains seasonal recreational water levels between elevation 541.5 feet and 543 feet from April 15 to September 30, consistent with Cascade’s state water rights and agreements with the Lake Tapps Community Council, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Cascade began its refill of the Lake Tapps Reservoir on February 16 in accordance with those agreements. The refill was proceeding on target until February 27 when the White River flows slowed dramatically. The agreements only allow Cascade to divert water from the White River to the reservoir when the water in the river is above a certain level, called “instream flows”.
Instream flows have been impacted by lower than average rainfall along with lower than average freezing elevations, which keeps the snowpack from melting. Rainfall in March was the sixth lowest since measurements began in 1939 and about half the average monthly total.
As long as the White River is below the required minimum instream flows, Cascade is not allowed to divert water. Since February 15, flow in the White River has been below the minimum levels on 25 of 48 days, about 52% of the time.

Cascade is committed to full recreational levels. As flows in the river hopefully get back to normal, the reservoir will be filled as quickly as allowed under Cascade’s agreements.