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Idaho drought conditions improve after months of precipitation

"The spring run of that we have had and the rains that we have seen have greatly increased our storage in the reservoirs," said an Idaho Hydrologist.

BOISE, Idaho — As temperatures begin to heat up, many are getting outside to bring back summer activities.

"You get to be in the water, you get to be outdoors, it beats being in the gym,” said Caleb Snodgrass who surfs at Whitewater Park in Boise.

Snodgrass said with more water, the bigger the waves get and he is thankful for recent rainstorms that have made it happen.

"We are stoked about all the rain, all the snow that they got up at Bogus recently, hoping it's going to provide for a lot better flows this summer,” Snodgrass said.

The topic of water in Idaho was a big concern for Idaho hydrologists during the beginning of April when the snowpack was significantly below normal. However, a lot of precipitation in recent months has changed Idaho’s drought conditions.

"The whole snowmelt situation has been delayed almost a month across the state,” said David Hoekema, Hydrologist with the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

Precipitation in April and May improved drought conditions in Southern Idaho and completely removes the drought conditions north of Idaho County.

"Very encouraging news," Hoekema said.

According to Hoekema, this spring is stacking up to be the third or fourth coolest spring on record.

"We are still looking at runoff across the state being below normal but because it's coming late in the year compared to either normal or near-normal, we are not seeing near the storage use that we saw last year."  

According to Ryan Hedrick, a Hydrologist with the Bureau of Reclamation, the recent rainfall is filling up reservoirs that desperately needed water.

“The spring run of that we have had and the rains that we have seen over the last week or so have greatly increased our storage in the reservoirs, that coupled with the cold weather has reduced irrigation demand,” Hedrick said.

"What  we were seeing earlier in the season is we were seeing that we weren't likely going to fill Lucky Peak and after this wet weather we are starting to move water into Lucky Peak."

He adds Lucky Peak will fill about two feet per day and likely fill up in a week. According to Hedrick, Arrowrock Dam is completely full, Anderson is 75 percent full and Lucky Peak will likely fill up.

"It would be great to fill all three of the systems, that's always our goal, so we can always use as much as we can get,” Hedrick said.

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