19-019 Boise River flows set to increase Monday

Published March 8, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation will increase Boise River flows through the City of Boise from approximately 1,680 to 2,180 cubic feet per second (cfs), on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Snowpack in the Boise basin as of March 1 was 129 percent of median, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Precipitation totals for February were 310 percent of normal, according to the National Weather Service. The water releases are necessary to help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and seasonal precipitation.

Additional adjustments in water releases from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake are possible during the coming weeks, depending upon weather conditions and inflows. Flows through the City of Boise could also fluctuate depending upon water diversions for irrigation use through the New York Canal, as determined by Idaho Water District Number 63.

The public should be aware that river flows may frequently change during the snow-melt season. A flow rate of 7,000 cfs, or about 10 feet in water depth, as measured at the Glenwood Bridge gauge, is considered flood-stage level on the Boise River. 

Officials advise the public to be aware of risks associated with increased Boise River flows. The water is deep, cold and fast. Extreme caution should be used near the river banks. 

Currently, the Boise River reservoirs are at 55 percent of capacity. A full supply of irrigation water is anticipated this summer.

For real-time Boise River flows at Corps and Reclamation facilities, visit https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html
# # #

The Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate three dams on the Boise River as a system to manage flood control and irrigation storage needs — Lucky Peak Dam, Arrowrock Dam and Anderson Ranch Dam. Storage capacity provided by Reclamation’s Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams, and the Corps’ Lucky Peak Dam, combined with well-planned water releases, help manage Boise River flows through the city of Boise.


Public Affairs Office

Release no. 19-019