The Natural Resources Conservation Service just released the second water supply outlook report for the 2016 water year. Precipitation since the water year started on Oct. 1, 2016, varies across the state with the majority of the watershed basins at 96 to 170 percent of normal.
The highest snowpack in Idaho can currently be found in the Bear River and Owyhee Basins where it is 170 percent of median. The lowest snowpacks are between 65 and 70 percent of median in the Panhandle Region basins. Elsewhere in the state, snowpacks vary with the elevation, so individuals concerned with particular areas should look at the specific data from those individual sites.
Based on Idaho’s Surface Water Supply Index, water supply shortages are not expected. However, due to the variable conditions across Idaho this year, water users north of the Salmon River may wish to consider streamflow forecasts with drier outcomes, while their peers south of the Salmon should consider using the wetter forecasts if the current weather patterns continue.