While much of the U.S. was pounded by snow this winter, creating immediate problems for many in those regions, the lack of snowfall in our state this winter will make for potentially bigger problems for the Yakima Valley this summer.

Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

Gov. Jay Inslee has officially declared a drought emergency for our part of the state as well as two other regions. With that declaration, the Department of Ecology has asked the Legislature to approve $9 million in relief funds.

Inslee said in a statement, "Snowpack is at record lows, and we have farms, vital agricultural regions, communities and fish that are going to need our support."

The east side of the central Cascades watersheds are only 8 percent to 45 percent of normal levels. The other two regions suffering much like ours are the Walla Walla region as well as the Olympic Peninsula.