Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Idaho Water supply in good shape


Idaho City - The Natural Resources Conservation Service took the final snow survey of the year at Mores Creek Summit on Monday afternoon.

They found that most of the water in the snowpack has already melted, but there's still ten inches of water left in the snowpack. The average water content in the snow at the summit this time of year is 24 inches. For the year, the overall snowpack for the Boise Basin totaled 80-90 percent.

"Mid to late February was when our winter really kicked in here," said Ron Abramovich of the NRCS. "Northern Idaho had been in the storm track all winter, then Southern Idaho caught up and March was pretty good across the State."

Abramovich says the 2018 year has been unusual and the Gem State is still getting snow in the high country. Northern Idaho got 150-percent of its normal April precipitation, Southern Idaho hit normal levels but a few areas hit just half of their normal snowpack totals.

The Owyhee Basin struggled with the lack of precipitation all year. 

"Not much happened there this past winter," said Abramovich. "We're sitting at half of last years total. But they were able to store enough water to get them through the rest of the year."

In terms of Irrigation water this summer, forecasters say 2018 is a rare year because water is not an issue anywhere.

"The 2018 irrigation system is looking really good," said Daren Cook of the Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District. "That's because of the of the extraordinary snowpack from the winter of 2017.

As summer approaches, the information gathered is extremely important for farmers and those dependent on water planning for the next year.

"If we can more accurately forecast it, users can plan ahead whether they're going to have too much, or too little water like this year the way it's shaping up to be," Abramovich said. With recent snowfall in the mountains, the findings from the survey show that Idaho is coming off another extraordinary year and 2018's average numbers put's Idaho well ahead of previous years.

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