The Natural Resources Conservation Service just released the first water supply outlook report for the 2015 water year. Precipitation since the water year started on October 1, 2014, varies across the state with the majority of the watershed basins at 90 to 105% of normal.
“January 15th marks winter’s half way point which is when Mother Nature usually deposits half of the winter’s snowfall in our mountains,” said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service. “So far southern Idaho snowpacks are faring well this year with most basins ranging from 90 to 120% of average, although several lower elevation basins are below that range.”
Typically north Idaho receives more precipitation than southern Idaho; however, the average snowpacks for northern Idaho are below normal. The lowest snowpack percentages are in the Spokane and Northern Panhandle Region. Luckily, there are several more months of winter weather to maintain or improve the snowpacks in all basins.
Based on Idaho’s Surface Water Supply Index, water supplies around the state should be adequate with some exceptions for the central Idaho basins. With near normal spring and summer streamflows projected across most of the state, and half the winter still to come, expect the water supply outlook to change.