Snow/Water Totals Still Worry Irrigators

Published online: Apr 13, 2005
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With the Snake River Basin showing only half the snow of regular years and reservoirs only 58 percent full on the system, Idaho irrigators are still fearful of shortages for the coming irrigation season.

Totals on April 11 showed the system at 1,701,082 acre feet. The system holds 4,045,695 acre feet. Just how much snow/water equivelent is still to come as winter winds down is the question mark.

Reservoir totals showed Palisades at 46 percent full, Lake Walcott 42 percent, American Falls 87 percent and Jackson Lake at 19 percent.

Daily temperatures reaching into the 50s are starting the spring snowmelt that will eventually see what is and what is not available.

Island Park's snow/water equivelent is at 13.1 inches while the Pine Creek Pass is at 12.1 inches. These are not impressive figures.

But Idaho is not the only western state feeling the springtime blues. Oregon, Washington and Montana are all in droughts of their own. Washington's Columbia River basins have had very little snow this year. With the Columbia and Snake river systems being drawn down for storage, there could be muddy islands showing in the lower Columbia this year.