Idaho To Go After Moisture By Cloud-seeding

Published online: Dec 30, 2004 IPC
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Idaho will not sit idle and let storm clouds pass without sharing some of the moisture they contain, it was learned today.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved a $950,000 outlay to Idaho Power Company to seed clouds for water--for hydro generation. Relying heavily on hydro-electric generators on the Snake River, Idaho Power convinced the IPUC that seeding efforts over the last two years have been successful.

IPC said seeding during the 2002-03 winter produced an estimated 110,000-acre-feet of increased run-off to feed hydro-generators. Another 68,000-acre-feet was realized by seeding in the winter of 2003-04.

With Idaho growers standing by, any moisture collected in Idaho's drainage basins, particuarly in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming, will help them as well.

Even though reservoir totals are slowly increasing in the Snake River Basin, growers know it will take great amounts of run-off water to get them back to average for next year's crops. Letting Idaho Power run a cloud-seeding program is frosting on the cake for them.

Ninety percent of the costs of the program will be included in the company's power adjustment process next spring. Of the expenses the IPUC deems necessary and prudent, the 90 percent will be recovered from customers. The remaining 10 percent is borne by shareholders.

Interested parties may petition the Commission for reconsideration no later than January 20.