Wednesday April 6, 2022


Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) heard predictions from water experts that southern Idaho will experience widespread drought and water shortages this summer. 

“The future is not bright,” hydrologist David Hoekema said. “Fifty percent of the state is currently in severe drought, and that percentage will increase in the coming months. We are predicting water shortages in every basin in Southern Idaho, including the Payette.” 

IDWR said Idaho started off with a great winter and record-breaking snowfall at the end of 2021. However, the snowpack in Idaho’s mountains has declined since Jan. 9 in every basin south of the Salmon River, leading a streamflow forecast to be 20-70% below-average for: the Snake River, Big Lost, Big Wood, Little Wood, Salmon Falls, Boise, Payette, and Weiser. 

Depending on how the weather plays out for April, the issue may become worse or slightly better, according to IDWR. 

“We’re far enough along that there’s very little chance of recovery,” Hoekema said. 

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