Water users seek boost in reservoir capacity

A lot of water is flowing out of the Treasure Valley.

BOISE - The Boise River reached a seasonal high this past weekend, marking it as the second highest flow since the early 1980s.

But with all that water flowing untapped out of the Treasure Valley, some are calling for increased storage in the Boise River reservoir system.

The Treasure Valley Water Users Association says history aside, this year's snowpack and run-off highlights the need to hold on to that water to help reduce flooding and increase the amount of irrigation water for future use.

"If we can hold it upstream in the mountains a little longer for one more stage in the transition between snow and river flow, you know, and we can put it to use, then that's a good thing," said Clinton Pline with the Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District.

To do that would require either building a new dam or raising the capacity of a current reservoir.

However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a study last year that showed raising the capacity of Arrowrock Reservoir wasn't economically feasible, so that plan has been put on hold.

The latest numbers show there is still nearly six times the amount of water in the mountains surrounding the Boise Basin than there is available storage.

Which is why the Boise River has seen more than 750,000 acre feet of water flow through and out of the valley, unable to be recovered.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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