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Most of Idaho had a below average snowpack: But water remains in good supply

Posted at 1:28 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 15:29:59-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Water Supply Committee had their final meeting about the outlook of water in Idaho as the we transition out of winter and look towards summer.

Most of Idaho including the central mountains were below average those regions having about 80 percent of the normal precipitation for winter, the BIg Wood, Little Wood and Big Lost in the Sun Valley region came in around 67 percent.

However, because of the storage carryover from the last few years water users including irrigators, farmers and people who use the rivers and reservoirs for recreation will likely have enough water this summer.

But that also depends on how quickly the snow melts, it's better to have a slow melt but the it's been above average temperatures and little to no precipitation in the forecast.

“It depends on how the water comes running off, but I believe we will be ok in having enough irrigation," said Ryan Hedrick of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

It all started with a record low snow in November, January was a good month but there were dry periods at times through out the rest of the winter which means instead of preparing for flooding the water supply committee will monitor potential drought conditions.

But there should be enough water even in the Sun Valley Area, but the concern now turns to having storage for next year in case of another below average winter.

“They are using it a little early," said Brian Stevens of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. "They watch it really close and use only what they need hoping for a good carryover going into next year.”

The committee is made of people from the U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, National Resources Conservation Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho Power and others.