23-023 Boise River flows likely to increase the first week of April

Published March 22, 2023

BOISE, Idaho -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation will increase Boise River flows through the City of Boise as early as April 3.

Flows through the City of Boise will increase at a daily rate no higher than 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) with an initial target flow of approximately 2000 cfs during the first week. Flows through the City of Boise will be measured at the Glenwood Bridge USGS gauge.

Snowpack in the Boise basin as of March 21 was 128% of the median, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Precipitation totals for March are currently at 205% of normal, according to the Northwest River Forecast Center. The water releases are necessary to reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring.

Water managers may continue to adjust water releases from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake 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 through the New York Canal as determined by Idaho Water District Number 63. The public should exercise increased caution and vigilance around the New York Canal and other water conveyance facilities.

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 minor flood-stage level on the Boise River according to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/inundation/index.php?gage=bigi1.

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

Currently, the Boise River reservoirs are at 63% 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


Release no. 23-024