Brownlee Summer Inflows to be Worst Everfrom Idaho Power Company
Weiser Signal American - March 16, 2005
The United States Weather Service Northwest River Forecast Center (RFC) has again downgraded its projection for stream flows into Brownlee Reservoir during the critical April-through-July period.
The RFC now is estimating that flows into Brownlee Reservoir will be 1.7 million acre-feet (maf), down from the center’s earlier projections. Previously, the lowest inflow for the April-through-July period was 1.8 maf in 1992.
According to the RFC, normal inflows into Brownlee during the summer should average 6.3 maf.
Late last month the RFC was predicting that flows would be slightly more than 2 maf, but changed its estimate March 9.
"According to the RFC, we’re looking at inflows that are expected to be less than 30 percent of normal this summer," said Idaho Power Dir-ector of Water Management Roger Fuhrman. "Barring a major shift in weather patterns, this will put 2005 in the record books as our worst water year."
Fuhrman said Idaho Power is working to optimize water within the company’s reservoir system and expects that Brownlee will remain nearly full into the summer to ensure that adequate water is available for power generation.
In a normal water year, Idaho Power derives about 60 percent of the electricity it generates from the company’s 17 dams on the Snake River and its tributaries.
Nearly two-thirds of the company’s hydroelectricity is produced at its three-dam Hells Canyon Complex.
Stream flow and reservoir information is available by calling 1-800-422-3143 or by visiting the "Rivers and Recreation" area on the company’s website: www.idahopower.com.
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