Idaho Water Watch: System Total Increasing

Published online: Apr 14, 2004
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Idaho irrigators, keeping a keen eye on the Snake River, learned that the entire storage system hit 55.3 per cent of capacity Wednesday.

With warm temperatures and winds rapidly melting the snow in the higher elevations, growers are still hopeful the totals will continue to increase to ensure them adequate water for this year's crops.

Palisades Reservoir stood at 41 per cent of capacity, Jackson Lake 25 percent and American Falls at 77 percent. Most of the Jackson Lake water is apportioned for use in the Rupert, ID, area.

One statistic showing that the extended drought is taking another huge chuck out of the water storage picture is the flow after the Henry's Fork of the Snake River meets the South Fork near Menan, ID.

Figures taken on April 7 showed the river's flow to be 2,958 cfs as compared to the normal flow of 9,033 cfs. It is at this point in the river system that determines what amount of storage water will end up in downstream reservoirs for southern Idaho irrigators--where some of the earliest water rights are located. 

With river flows at this level, it will put a huge strain on the system when canal companies call for water in the Upper Snake River Valley in two weeks.