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NRCS releases Idaho water supply outlook report

Posted: 5:22 PM, Feb 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-08 00:22:44Z

BOISE — The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has released the February Water Supply Outlook Report for the 2019 water year.

January’s weather varied across the state and that was reflected in changes in Idaho’s snowpack. Warm temperatures in mid-January brought rain in the valleys and mid-elevations and snow to the higher elevations, according to the NRCS.

In regard to precipitation overall, the highest accumulation relative to normal was in the Little Wood Basin, which received 109% of its average January precipitation, officials said. Conversely, the Clearwood Basin received only 57% of its average precipitation for the first month of the year.

“It’s important to note that precipitation from the storms that hit between February 2 and 5 are not included in the streamflow forecasts in this report,” said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service. “You can get daily water supply forecasts on the Streamflow Forecasts page on the NRCS Idaho Snow Survey web page (nrcs.usda.gov).”

Most of Idaho’s reservoir systems are reporting near average or higher storage levels as of January 31. Oakley, Salmon Falls and Lake Owyhee reservoirs are reporting below average storage.

As of February 5, snowpacks across Idaho range from 80 to 110% of median. “Stay tuned for the second half of winter,” Abramovich said. “There is still a chance for the snow to recover to near normal levels by April 1, but we’ll need above average precipitation in the next few months.”

For information on specific basins, streams, and reservoirs, please view the full report online at February Water Supply Outlook Report at: wcc.nrcs.usda.gov.

(PHOTO BY: Doug Lock-Smith/Skyview 6)