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Water managers work to balance flows

Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 19:46:58-04

In the high desert of Boise water is worth its weight in gold and water managers have the burden of bringing it to the many entities that need it.

Water is rushing out of the Lucky Peak reservoir at 8,000 cubic feet per second. It's some of the highest output we've seen in years.

"We got a little bit more snow  beyond what's normal so that put us into the position of needing to make some space for when that snow ultimately melts in the spring,” said Brian Sauer of the Bureau of Reclamation

Sauer says the reservoirs are filling up fast. Warmer temps have the snowpack rapidly melting and dumping more than 10,000 cfs into the system.

"You can't control how quickly the snow melts and how quickly the water runs into the reservoir system," he said.

High flows were anticipated by the bureau of water reclamation. And though it may inconvenience people who can't use flooded parts of the Greenbelt, it's designed to be the first high water casualty.

"The Greenbelt was specifically put there so the water can go over the Greenebelt,” said Sauer. “That's why that park system and the greenbelt are there rather than homes and businesses and things like that."

Although figuring out just how much water to keep or send down river will be touch and go for the next couple of weeks, Sauer is confident this year's water resources will fill everyone's needs.

"Unless we really mess up we should be more than happy with the water supply."

During this time when the river is raging avoid the temptation to go for a float. The water temps are very cold and the river moves deceptively fast.