Discharges Increasing Downstream of Minidoka and Milner dams on the Snake River

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322
Corey Loveland, (208) 678-0461 ext. 27

For Release: February 07, 2017

HEYBURN, Idaho – Snake River flows below Minidoka and Milner dams will increase today to accommodate high inflows from the surrounding areas because of increased low-elevation snowmelt from recent warm temperatures and rainfall. The flow below Minidoka Dam is at 525 cubic feet per second (cfs); it will be increased in four increments to ultimately reach a target outflow of 2,420 cfs by 5 pm. The flow below the Milner powerhouse is at 500 cfs; the discharges increased to approximately 1,500 cfs around noon today, to 2,500 cfs at about 3 pm, and to around 3,000 cfs at approximately 6 pm.

These increases in discharges are necessary because of increases in Snake River inflow from localized runoff from rapid snowmelt and to maintain stable reservoir pool elevations at both dams. When the river inflows begin to decrease later this week, the discharges from both dams also will be decreased.

Typical winter flows released from Minidoka Dam are approximately 520 cfs. The scheduled release later today reaching 2,420 cfs is lower than the typical summer time irrigation season flow of 12,000 cfs.

Current river and reservoir data are available at www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/uppersnake/. For more information regarding Reclamation programs, visit Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region website at https://www.usbr.gov/pn.

The dams, which are operated by Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office, are located on the Snake River in south central Idaho.

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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.

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