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News Release

Idaho’s Water Supply Outlook Shows Plenty of Water

Mindi Rambo, Public Affairs Specialist, 208 378-5720

BOISE, ID, April 7, 2017 – The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) just released the fourth 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, and record breaking in the Big Wood Basin above Hailey at 180% of average. Other basins are seeing their highest snowpack in two decades.

Northern Idaho (Panhandle Region and Clearwater basins) are the closest to normal snowpack conditions across the state this year. Overall, the Salmon River basin snow is 130% of median, the best since 2006. The Weiser snowpack is mostly melted at 105% of median. Overall, the Payette basin is 118% of median. The snowpack in the Boise headwaters is 140 to 160% of median – its highest since 1997. The Big Wood basin snowpack remains record high since the 7-station index starts in 1961. The Little Wood snow is 174% of median, the highest since 1983. At 174% of median, the Big Lost snowpack is the highest since 1997. As a whole, the Henrys Fork snowpack is 114% of median. The rest of the Upper Snake River tributaries range from 179% of median in the Hoback basin to 119% in the Salt. The Snake above Palisades Reservoir snowpack is 141% of median, the highest since 1997.  The Willow, Blackfoot and Portneuf basins range from 87 to115% of median. At 143% of median, the Bear River snowpack is at its highest since 1997. Snowpacks across Idaho’s southern border range from 100 to120% of median and have lost some of the mid-elevation snow, but the higher elevation snow is still near normal or better.

Based on Idaho’s Surface Water Supply Index, “There are no expected water supply shortages expected across 99% of the state,” said Shawn Nield, Snow Survey Program manager for NRCS Idaho. “The greatest concern, especially in southern Idaho, is too much snow and how to safely release the excess water.”

For information on specific basins, streams, and reservoirs, please view the full report online at April Water Supply Outlook.


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