IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The Bureau of Reclamation is saying water levels could reach historic lows this fall.
The water levels in eastern Idaho are low, and water diversions are high. And if the trend continues, it could mean big things come fall, explains Brian Stevens, the water operations group manager for the Snake River area office.
“Water supply was looking stronger in spring. And after March, it’s waned quite heavily,” Stevens said. “It’s looking like Jackson Lake will end up at around five or six percent full. And then Palisades Reservoir will end up at about two or three percent full. Then American Falls Reservoir will probably end up in the range of about 10 percent full.”
Those types of numbers haven’t been seen since 1987.
The bureau tries to end the year with American Falls Reservoir at about 10% full, then fill it up diverting water from other reservoirs.
The problem is that then those reservoirs are near empty, and only refill with runoff rain and snow. And with a mild winter and dry spring, things aren’t looking good, said Stevens.
“We are anticipating our reservoir system, all the reservoirs, from Grassy Lake, Island Park, Jackson Lake, Palisades, American Falls, Ririe, and Minidoka Dam, or Lake Walcott, when you take all those storages together at the end of the year, we’re looking at the system being approximately 12% full to end the year,” Stevens said.
During an average year, that number is 40%.
The Bureau of Reclamation, area canal companies, and other government offices meet often to discuss the outlook.
Idaho Falls / Local News / News / Pocatello / Regional News / Top Stories / Videos