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David Sparks Ph.d Water Outlook
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: June 13, 2018

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The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released the sixth and final water supply outlook report for the 2018 water year. As of June 1, the snow measuring sites in the Weiser, Owyhee, Salmon Falls and Oakley basins are melted out. On the other end of the spectrum, the Clearwater and Spokane basins have above normal snowpack for this time at 115% and 109 respectively. The Big Wood basin is at 57% of normal with the other central and southern Idaho basins at less than half of normal. The remaining basins have near normal snowpacks.

 The majority of streams across the state have seen their snowmelt streamflow peak for the season. The May rain provided a boost in runoff for many rivers with the exceptions being in southern Idaho. The state’s reservoirs are in great shape. Some reservoirs in southern Idaho have already peaked for the season and are being drafted as irrigation demand exceeds inflows. A few are at or near full and have begun passing flows and the remaining reservoirs will complete their final fills soon.

 Overall, precipitation since the water year started on October 1, 2017, varies across the state with watersheds ranging from 80 to 120% of average. “The thing to remember is that overall, Idaho’s water users will have an adequate supply resulting from a combination of the 2017 snowfall that provided excellent reservoir carryover storage and streamflows that were above average all winter,” Abramovich said.

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