BOISE, ID, April 5, 2019 – The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has released the April Water Supply Outlook Report for the 2019 water year. While March turned out to be a drier than normal month, thanks to February’s prodigious storms all indicators are that there will be adequate water for users throughout Idaho. Looking at precipitation, the lowest percentages were a third of average in northern Idaho.
The Clearwater basin did slightly better at 40% of normal. Moving south, amounts increased, but only to 50 to 80% of average across central and southern Idaho.
Greater precipitation amounts that were closer to near normal fell in Oakley and Bear River basins because the primary March storm track was across the Great Basin.
South of the Owyhee, Bruneau, Salmon Falls and Goose headwaters in Nevada and Utah, March precipitation totals reached 150 to 200% of average.
“Streamflow forecasts decreased slightly from March 1 because of the below normal March precipitation but still mirror the snowpack, increasing as you move from northern Idaho to southern Idaho,” said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service.
As the snow accumulation season winds down, reservoir operators have a good feel for how much snow is in the mountains to meet and exceed this year’s water supplies. Since enough snow has fallen in the mountains to ensure adequate irrigation supplies this season, many of the farmers’ and irrigators’ decisions have already been made.
Recreationists should be able to enjoy spring skiing until the snowmelt season fully kicks in; and early season river runners will also want to keep an eye on the Owyhee River.