Idaho Irrigators Try To Stretch Last One-fourth

Published online: Aug 16, 2004
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Eastern and southern Idaho irrigators are doing their best to stretch the last one-quarter of their irrigation water over the next two-month period.

The Upper Snake River Storage system stood at 21 percent full on August 15. The entire system has storage space for 4,045,695 acre feet and on that date there was space for 3,179,005 acre feet.

That means irrigators will now be forced to stretch the last 866,690 acre feet through the remainder of the irrigation season on late crops, at harvest and hopefully after harvest for tillage and other purposes.

The situation was hampered by high temperatures in the high '80s and low '90s last week. However, this week a cooler weather picture is expected with the first three or four days of the week overcast with some chance of showers.

American Falls reservoir stood at 10 percent full, Palisades at 21 percent, and Jackson at 28 percent. The four smaller upper Snake River system reservoirs held totals ranging from 45-66 percent full.

The potato crop is progressing nicely and most growers are expected to finish out a quality crop, many through the use of deep wells and pumps.

Like last year, there is expected to be some water cutoffs and some areas where water rights will run out based on available storage amounts.