Boise River Reservoirs: Less Than Half Full Or More Than Half Empty

Sep 8, 2015

The three big reservoirs on the Boise River started summer with a good bit of water left over from the previous year. Altogether, they are a little under half full right now. That’s below normal, according to Brian Sauer with the Bureau of Reclamation in Boise.

“And we’re still in irrigation season so it will drop some more,” Sauer says.

The water in the reservoirs at the beginning of the season allowed irrigation districts in the Treasure Valley to go on with business as usual, despite the drought. This year, the major districts will shut off water to canals in early October. That’s pretty standard.

Sauer says the purpose of the reservoirs is to get people through dry years. But he says back to back dry years cause problems.

He says if there’s a whole lot of snow this winter, next year could be another normal one for water users. But he says it won’t be normal if there’s another dry winter.

“There would likely be some water supply shortages in the Boise system,” he says. “Folks receiving less than their normal supply, irrigation water being shut off in August or even end of July.”

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio