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Idaho State News

Dry Conditions Expected in the Boise River System

U.S Army Corps of Engineers

BOISE  – A lower-than-normal water supply in the Boise River basin is prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to conserve as much water as possible until the beginning of the irrigation season.

Therefore, flows from Lucky Peak Dam will continue to be at minimum releases of 220 cubic feet per second until the start of the irrigation season, which is expected to start later in April.

Seasonal snowpack in the Boise River basin as of April 1 was 65% of the median, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Precipitation totals for October 1 through April 1 were 85% of normal, according to the National Weather Service. In 2021, water supply and water carryover were lower than normal, making 2022 the second consecutive low water year.

The dry year and numerous constraints on the system will make Lucky Peak difficult to fill. Because of this inability to fill, the recreation season may likely be shortened this year. Recreators should be aware of boat ramp accessibility with the potential for less water in Lucky Peak’s reservoir this summer. Further information regarding specific impacts to recreation will be released in future weeks as spring runoff occurs. USACE and Reclamation will continue to work together to manage the limited supply of water in the best manner possible for all needs.

USACE and Reclamation operate Lucky Peak, Arrowrock, and Anderson Ranch dams on the Boise River as a system for flood risk management and irrigation. Storage capacity provided by Reclamation’s Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams, and the USACE’s Lucky Peak Dam, combined with well-planned water releases, help manage Boise River flows through the City of Boise.

For real-time Boise River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Columbia–Pacific Northwest Region, visit https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html.