From North To South, Idaho's Lakes And Dams Forecast To Fill

Jun 13, 2017

All but one region in Idaho received above average snowpack this year.
Credit Screengrab / Natural Resources Conservation Service

By now many of us have seen the teacup diagram from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation showing the remaining capacity of reservoirs in the Boise and Payette River Basins.

To nerd out even more about this exceptional water year, it's best to dig in to the June water supply report from the National Resources Conservation Service.

The agency's monthly report breaks things down by region, giving forecasts and outlining exactly how much snow fell this winter.

The hydrologists behind the report say that besides one region near Idaho Falls, the entire state has received its annual precipitation for the year (October-September). The Boise and Big Wood basins are leading the pack.

The reservoirs are similarly remarkable, or "the exciting place to be" in the words of the NRCS. All reservoirs and lakes are expected to fill, and some places are seeing water in areas that hasn't existed for years:

"Little Wood Reservoir has been releasing water since February 1 and is 87% full and can complete final fill any day with inflows above average at 1,000 cfs since early May. Rumors from the locals in these central mountains are that springs are flowing that have been dry for several years. This will keep baseflows up and help to rejuvenate the water supply in Silver Creek and other spring fed regions."  -- NRCS

A full Owyhee Reservoir is especially of note, since just a couple years ago farmers in the southwest corner of the state were in extreme drought. Now, water users will not only have enough of the resource this year -- but will likely have lots of water carried over into 2018.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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