Boise River flood risk management operations to begin

Media Contact: Gina Baltrusch, (509) 527-7018,
Michael Coffey, (208) 378-5020,

For Release: February 27, 2019

BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are increasing flows through the city of Boise from approximately 280 to 1,780 cubic feet per second (cfs), beginning March 6, 2019. The flow through town will be increased 500 cfs each day over three days starting on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, and ending Friday, March 8, 2019.

The change in operation is in response to a rapid rise in snowpack since the beginning of February. Snowpack in the Boise basin increased from 74 percent of median Feb. 1 to 124 percent of median on Feb. 27. Precipitation totals so far in February are 285 percent of normal. The releases will help reduce the risk of flooding later in the spring, which can happen with rapidly melting snow and seasonal precipitation. Additional flow increases are possible in the coming weeks depending upon weather conditions.

Typical flood risk management operations experience flows through town up to 6,500 cfs and the public should be aware that river flows may change routinely during the snowmelt season.

Currently, the Boise River reservoirs are at 53 percent of capacity. A full supply of irrigation water is anticipated this summer.

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

For real-time Boise River flows at Reclamation facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit

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.

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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