The outlook for summer water supplies continues to deteriorate in much of the West, the Agriculture Department said last week.

Officials said the latest monthly outlook was based on surveys by the department's Soil Conservation Service and the National Weather Service of the Commerce Department.Water supplies of less than 70 percent of normal are expected in California, Nevada, most of Utah and Oregon, southern Idaho, southwestern and southeastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, northwestern Colorado, and northwestern and central Arizona.

William Richards, chief of the USDA agency, said "low precipitation totals and deteriorating snowpack conditions" are to blame for the forecasts of streamflow shortfalls this spring and summer.

But he said some areas can still look forward to adequate water supplies.

Streamflows should be near-average to well above average in the Northwest and around the Colorado-New Mexico border.