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Winter Weather Outlook Uncertain, Water Managers Concerned

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By Jay Michaels

Jerome, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Water is life, especially here in the Southern Idaho desert. That's why the snow that skiers and snow mobilers enjoy will also translate into irrigation water for next summer.

The Bureau of Reclamation says this winter's weather forecast is looking uncertain. Right now, the reservoir system in Southern Idaho is just under a third full. Jackson Lake, one of the larger reservoirs, is at 71% of capacity. American Falls and Palisades reservoirs are at only ten and 17% full, respectively.

Mike Beus, Water Operations Manager for the Bureau of Reclamation office in Burley, says, "The distribution is good, and we're prepared to optimize what water we do get through the winter and next spring."

Beus says the good news is the water is in the upper reservoirs, where they can let it run downhill. He says the Bureau of Reclamation is ready to capture all the water they can for next spring and summer.

Sept. 20, 2012.


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