Idaho Water Watch: Good News, Bad News

Published online: Apr 13, 2004 Idaho Dept. of Water Resources/BOR
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There was good news and bad news for Idaho irigators today as the water watch on Snake River, reservoir storage and snow melt runoff intensifies.

Good news is that the Palisades Reservoir storage level crossed last year's on this date by a few acre feet. The storage total to date stands at nearly 500,000 acre feet. Normal for the date is 780,000 acre feet. The reservoir holds over 1.2 million acre feet.

It won't be known until snow runoff peaks if this year's line on the storage total graph is just an aberation or if the total will continue to climb, surpassing last year.

While the reservoir's level is somewhat controlled, it could mean water masters are holding more water for upper Snake River Valley areas in lieu of releases to fill downstream reservoirs.

Irrigators in the Magic Valley of southern Idaho, facing a very early and dry spring, were already calling for water, with some canal companies taking water this week. Typically the irrigation season starts the last week of April or the first week of May.

The entire Snake River storage total has inched up to 53.1 percent full.