Talent Irrigation Update: Reservoirs at Historic Low

Water Supply Update posted February 9, 2021

As if we haven’t been through enough this last year with COVID-19, wildfire operations and recovery, not to mention back-to-back short water years, this water year is not shaping up to be any better.

The last several years have not been kind to us from a water supply outlook. Lighter than average snow packs coupled with long dry summers, have drawn the reservoir system down farther and farther every year. This gives us less water to work with every summer causing us to delay startup of the irrigation season and in turn, shutting the season down earlier than normal. Without the winter recharge to the system, it causes us to use more of our annual reservoir carryover amounts that would typically sustain us for the following year.

This year, at least at this point, doesn’t look to give us any relief with the reservoirs that the District relies on for irrigation.  Howard Prairie, Hyatt and Emigrant reservoirs are at all time historic low elevations. While we still have time for mother nature to turn around and give us some above average snow and precipitation to get us into a good supply position, water users should be aware of the potential for a very short water year.

Once we are into March and April, we should be able to have at least a better idea of what our water supply for the year will be. At that time, the District Board of Directors can make any decisions that we may need to get through the water year.

//inserted by Sharon