Despite recent rain, rivers and reservoirs are seeing relief

From "flood control" to "fill reservoirs" mode
Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 20:11:20-04

Despite massive recent rainfall across Idaho, water managers in the state actually say our rivers and reservoirs are looking good.

"Despite the rain, we're actually seeing the runoff rates slowing," Bureau of Reclamation Water Operations Manager Bob Sauer said. "Water levels did come up a little bit at Glenwood, but they're back down to where they were before the rain."

As a result, water managers are decreasing flows along the Boise River each day.

"We're starting to get to the end of the snow pack in some locations, so we're sort of on the downhill slide as far as in-flows to the system, barring any sort of huge rain event," Sauer explained.

Reservoirs for the Boise and Payette River systems currently sit around 96% capacity.

As off Tuesday afternoon, Lucky Peak is at 91 percent, Arrowrock is 97 percent full, and Anderson Ranch sits at 98 percent capacity.

"Now we're getting into a mode where we want to top off the reservoirs," Sauer said. "Our job is to fill the reservoirs for irrigation, so we're going from 'flood control' mode to 'fill the reservoir' mode."

For reference, last year at this time Sauer says the Boise River was around 3,000 CFS with some flood control.

Typically, we'd be around 1,500 CFS which is the required conditions to allow floating down the Boise River safely.

Earlier this month, the river peaked above 9,500 CFS but now the river is moving around 8,500 CFS. Flows will decrease again Wednesday.