Idaho water levels hopefully turning around after recent rain

Credit: Mike di Donato/ KTVB

Idaho water levels hopefully turning around after recent rain

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 11:31 PM

BOISE -- Folks with the Idaho Department of Water Resources said they are more optimistic about water levels in Idaho after this recent rainfall.

During the snow season, from about January to April, the Idaho Department of Water Resources meets monthly to discuss the state's water resources. Friday, they had one of their more encouraging meetings, with more precipitation in the last week and more in the forecast.

"2010, 11, and 12 were pretty good years for water, average or slightly above," said Rick Raymondi with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. "But 2013 and going into this year, we were pretty dry, so much below normal, and it was a cause for concern for water users around the state."

Even after a bad water year in 2013, Raymondi said some parts of the state fared better than others.

"The far Eastern end of the state, the upper Snake Basins were in the best shape, and the worst conditions were in the Owyhee Basin here in the Southwest part of the state," he said.

Raymondi said this is because the mountains in this area are lower and the storm tracks do not hit this area as hard. Therefore, water managers were glad to have some precipitation over the past week.

"During the last 10 days or so, things have begun to change and improve," Raymondi said.

Raymondi said a turnaround like this is not typical, but has happened in the past.

"We were very encouraged and we were hoping that we'd start seeing increases in the snow pack and reservoir contents and it steadily increased, and we're becoming more optimistic as the days go on when we continue to get this precipitation," he said.

They are expecting more precipitation, especially over the next five days.

Raymondi said they would like to get even more rain, but water levels would have to get a lot worse to have a effect of the average water use.

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