News May 9, 2019

Snowmelt Filling Reservoirs

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Water stored in the reservoirs of the Snake River Basin has now risen to an average of 78% of their capacities, with the more snowmelt on the way.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, Jackson Lake is currently at 77% of its capacity and Palisades Reservoir is at 51% with much of the snowmelt being passed through at this time to the lower reservoirs. Consequently, American Falls Reservoir is already 96% filled.

Most of the smaller reservoirs in the system are reported to be 85% or more filled. The Bureau reports what’s in most of the region’s reservoirs now is near normal for what is expected at this time; except Ririe which is at 117% of that average, Jackson Lake at 147%, and Blackfoot at 149%. All are expected to fill as rivers and streams in the area are forecast to see normal or slightly above normal flows for the May through July period.

The Snake River near Heise forecast is 100% of average for May through July and May through September. Additional spring precipitation will promote greater system carryover and allow for increased aquifer recharge in the Snake River plain.