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Idaho Water Supply Committee meets to discuss reservoir and snowpack levels

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 12:04 PM MST
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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The drought continues to be a concern for our agricultural community across Idaho. Putting you first, we have an update for you and what you can expect.

The Idaho Water Supply Committee met Thursday morning to discuss the latest snowpack levels and reservoir levels. A series of snowstorms over the last few weeks has put the snowpack in good shape.

Water officials say snow levels are above normal across Idaho. Blaine County areas are at more than 140% of normal. However, there are still areas in Southern Idaho lacking, including the South Hills.

“For example the Boise Basin, 120% of normal in respect to 1991, so we are above normal across nearly the entire state,” said Danny Tappa with NRCS Snow Survey. “The only area where we saw slightly below normal as of Jan. 1 were the Bruneau, Salmon Falls, and Raft River Basin.”

The impacts of last year’s drought can be seen with these latest statistics:

  • The Idaho Drought Committee says there was significant crop loss in the Palouse Region of Idaho
  • The Big Lost River had a record low flow, 75% of the previous record
  • Officials say no direct snowmelt runoff reached Mackay Reservoir
  • It was the 3rd lowest flow recorded on the Big Wood River going back to 1916
  • Magic Reservoir ceased storage deliveries on June 10

There was good news, however, as officials say we are starting to see part of the state come out of drought. As of now, the Big Lost and Big Wood area have come up from extreme drought to moderate drought. Officials say as long as they have some more snow accumulation this winter, even if it’s below normal, those areas are expected to have a much better year.

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