Wednesday, March 8, 2017
IDAHO’S WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK LOOKING STRONG
BOISE–The Natural Resources Conservation Service just released the third water supply outlook report for the 2016 water year. Precipitation since the water year started on October 1, 2016, is above average across the state, ranging from 110% of average in the Clearwater basins to 200% in the Little Wood and Big Lost basins.
“During February, the mountains of Idaho received 150% to 500% of normal monthly precipitation,” said Daniel Tappa, hydrologist with the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service. The highest snowpack in Idaho can currently be found in the Big Lost, Fish Creek and Little Wood basins which are nearly 200% of median.
The lowest snowpacks are between 90 and 110% of median in the Panhandle Region basins. In heavy snow years, the snowpack is often more efficient in producing streamflow, so water users should look closely at conditions in their specific basin. Based on Idaho’s Surface Water Supply Index, water supply shortages are not expected.
In addition, plenty of soil moisture already in the ground may reduce the initial irrigation demand, which means additional water may be available to use or release. “There will be abundant water supplies across Idaho this year,” Tappa noted.
“Early March storms are expected to bring several feet of snow into the western and northern parts of the state, which is a reminder that winter isn’t over yet.” For information on specific basins, streams, and reservoirs, please view the full report online at March Water Supply Outlook Report.