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Draw-Down of Area Reservoirs Drastic

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Reservoirs in Western Wyoming and Eastern Idaho are showing the effects of a significant draw-down for irrigation downstream, but the irrigation season is far from over.  Before the season is over, Water Operations Manager Mike Beus of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Minidoka Project says two of the system’s reservoirs will be incredibly low.  He says both American Falls and Palisades Reservoir down to two or three percent of capacity and try to keep 15 or 20 percent of capacity in Jackson Lake. Beus says while it has been several years since the area has seen this much of a draw from the reservoirs, it is not particularly extraordinary. Beus says, “American Falls and Palisades were this low in 2007 – Jackson Lake fared better then.”  He says before that, it has been this dry or drier about 10% of the time with a cluster of years in the early 2000’s where it was this dry for a couple years. Currently, Jackson Lake is at 58% of capacity, Palisades Reservoir is at 20% and American Falls is down to 22% filled.

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