The water year for 2021 got off to a slow start, with below normal precipitation, but a close look at the data in the first Idaho Water Supply Outlook Report show the conditions are not all bad.
According to the report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho while snowpack in the west central mountains is below normal, storage in reservoirs in the same region is plentiful, at or near normal.
Boise Basin reservoirs are 102% of normal, the storage in the Payette System in 95% of normal and Mann Creek Reservoir is in line at 101% of normal.
As of Jan. 1, snowpack in the Payette and Boise River basins was nearing normal while it was 67% of normal in the Weiser basin. However, snowfall since then has increased the snow pack from 85% to 98% of normal.
Snowpack in the Owyhee Basin was measured at 65%, with storage in the Owyhee Reservoir at 105% of normal.
“Although precipitation and snowpack conditions are below normal, it’s worth noting the are several months of winter in front of us — plenty of time to make up for the below normal conditions,” the NRCS report reads.