BOISE, Idaho – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation will continue to increase flows through the City of Boise. Currently, Boise River flows through town are approximately 3,450 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flows will increase by 500 cfs daily, beginning on Tuesday, April 16, and continue through Friday, April 19. Flows will reach approximately 5,450 cfs by Friday evening as measured at the Glenwood Bridge gauge.
The increase in flows from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake is in response to above average precipitation the Boise River System has received so far in April. On April 15, the basin had received 129% of the normal monthly amount, which has increased the forecasted runoff volume into the Boise Reservoir System estimated through July. These increases from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake are necessary to help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and seasonal precipitation. Seasonal snowpack in the Boise River basin is 127% of median, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Additional adjustments in water releases from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake are likely during the coming weeks, depending on weather conditions and resulting inflows. Flows also could fluctuate depending on water diversions for irrigation use, as determined by Idaho Water District 63.
Officials advise the public to be aware of risks associated with flood season. The water is deep, cold and fast. Extreme caution should be used near the river banks. 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.
Currently, the Boise River reservoirs are at 70% of capacity. A full supply of irrigation water is anticipated this summer.
For real-time Boise River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtindex/boise.html.
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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation’s second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.
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.