Caution Advised as Upper Snake River Flows Increase during Irrigation Season

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 383-2207
Roland Springer, (208) 678-0461 ext. 34

For Release: March 24, 2014

HEYBURN, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows along the Upper Snake River this week as part of normal reservoir operations to prepare for spring runoff and irrigation deliveries. People are advised to exercise caution near rivers and canals.

"As melting snow and water delivered for irrigation raises water levels, we want people to be careful around riverbanks and canal systems," said Roland Springer, Upper Snake Field Office Manager. "Late winter precipitation points to a good water supply for Snake River water users, and increases the potential for flooding so we want everyone to keep safety in mind."

Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been at 900 cubic-feet-per-second, and will increase by 300 cfs daily beginning on March 25. Flows will be stabilized at about 2100 cfs by March 29. Inflow to the reservoir is currently about 2500 cfs.

The positive change in water supply is due to an increase in snowpack and precipitation from February through early March. The watershed above Palisades Dam continues to accumulate at a near normal rate.

American Falls Reservoir is also releasing more water to fill Lake Walcott. Flows were increased on March 21 from 400 cfs to 1200 cfs, and plans call for gradually increasing flows to 3600 cfs or more, next week.

Flows from American Falls Reservoir will depend on the ongoing spillway construction at Minidoka Dam and irrigation diversions from Minidoka Dam and downstream.

The dams operated by Reclamation's Upper Snake Field Office are located on the Snake River and its tributaries upstream of Milner, Idaho. Palisades Dam is about 55 miles southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho; American Falls Dam is near American Falls, Idaho; and Minidoka Dam is about 12 miles northeast of Rupert, Idaho.

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