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Boise River system reservoirs above average

About 98% of Idaho is still seeing drought conditions, but reservoir storage is higher than it was last year.

BOISE, Idaho — We still have about two months of the winter season left. But, once temperatures start to get warmer, outdoor activities become top of mind, including being on the water.

Right now, reservoir levels in the Boise River system are sitting above average at 108%, according to Ryan Hedrick. Hedrick is the Operations Lead with the Bureau of Reclamation. The reservoirs in this system include Anderson Ranch, Arrowrock and Lucky Peak.

Credit: United States Bureau of Reclamation

While the overall levels of the system are important, where the water is also is important. Levels in the Lucky Peak Reservoir may look low but, those levels are all part of the Bureau of Reclamation's plan. 

"This year at Anderson Ranch we have a very high carryover, and that's where much of our water currently is," Hedrick said.

The bureau is holding the bulk of the water in the Anderson Ranch Reservoir, so that they can release the water downstream to Lucky Peak. 

"It's better to have water higher in the system," Hedrick said. "We can move that water down, we cannot move the water back up into the system."

Hedrick added levels in Lucky Peak may start to come up in early March, but it depends on weather conditions.

"It really just depends on the season we have," Hedrick said. "If we have a cold snap, it might be a little later."

Credit: United States Bureau of Reclamation

The graph above shows the current reservoir levels in the Boise River system. At the start of the water year in October 2021, reservoir levels were very low. Levels were much higher in October 2022, giving the system a much higher starting point than the year before. 

It could help to set the Treasure Valley up for a full irrigation season. In 2021, the irrigation season was cut short.

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