Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire this week declared a statewide drought emergency anticipating what weather forecasters predict will be the Pacific Northwest's worst dry spell in nearly 30 years.
"While water shortages won't affect all areas of the state in precisely the same way, it seems very likely that all areas of our state will experience some level of drought this year," Gregoire said.
The water shortages are expected to hurt farmers, irrigators, hydroelectric power producers, fish hatcheries and will increase the chances of an unusually bad fire season.
The governor's declaration didn't come a moment to soon for farmers, like Charlie de la Chapelle, who grows apples and pears in the lower Yakima Valley. "There will be dead and dying trees in July and we will have to triage to save the most valuable crops," he said.