BOISE -- River flows in the Snake River are approaching record lows. And because of that, officials with Idaho Power will reduce flows.
Water experts say this will have impacts all over the valley.
“We are certainly are going to be pretty empty by the end of the year,” said Brian Sauer a Water Operations Manager with the Bureau of Reclamation.
Some neighborhoods in areas of the Treasure Valley have already gone without irrigation water, while others could be asked to do the same in anticipation of this low water year.
"We had a pretty dry winter,” said Sauer.
Sauer reminds us that's why this year's water supply is so low, snow-pack and springtime run-off was below normal.
Those with Idaho Power are actively watching their hydro-situation at the Hells Canyon Complex.
“It’s important that we manage the water in that system to hit peak demands during those hot summer days,” said Phil DeVol a Resource Planning Leader with Idaho Power.
The company is choosing to decrease levels in the Snake River to 65,000 below the Hells Canyon Dam, so there is enough reserve water to make power on hot summer days.
“The important thing for us is having our reservoir system in the Hells Canyon Complex full coming into the summer, and that is where we currently stand,” said DeVol.
The water season is still unknown and power customers could potentially see impacts to their rates because of this low water year. Farmers and residential irrigation customers will likely see impacts too.
“When they run out, they run out. So there may be some early shut-offs this year, the irrigation season may not run into September like it does many years,” said Sauer.
As he explains, we live in the high desert, making water naturally scarce. But too many years of drought is cause for concern.
DeVol said, Idaho Power sees its highest demand during the summer when air conditioners and irrigation pumps are going.