Idaho cities

Idaho cities brace for worsening drought conditions

Boise is feeling the effects of the drought. Most of Ada County is considered unusually dry, while the rest of the state experiences moderate drought.

BOISE, Idaho – Drought conditions in Idaho continue to worsen as the weather warms. As conditions worsen in other parts of Idaho, the city of Boise is hoping the community moves forward before it’s too late.

2021 was the 36th driest year on record for Ada County, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Water precipitation fell 1.4 inches from last year, totaling just 8.25 inches in Boise.

“We are taking this very seriously and are starting to do long-term planning to address these concerns,” said John Roldan, Strategic Water Manager for the Town of Boise.

Along with most of Idaho, Boise is feeling the effects of drought. Most of Ada County is considered unusually dry, while the rest of the state experiences moderate drought.

“We are in the desert, droughts are normal,” Roldan said. “They are happening. It is a cyclical process, but with climate change we are seeing it happening more frequently and it is expected to be under drought conditions for longer periods of time.”

The National Weather Service issued the following statement in May 2021 regarding the drought conditions in Boise:

Below normal spring precipitation and the early loss of snowpack have resulted in increased drought conditions in Idaho. The latest seasonal drought outlook (May 20, 2021 – August 31, 2021) indicates that drought will persist in areas already affected by drought, and development of drought is likely in the rest of Idaho.

Roldan said people can expect to see local ordinances regarding water conservation if Boise experiences another year of drought.

“We are reviewing our ordinances right now and looking for ways to have smarter development if you are in an area that does not have a surface water supply from an irrigation district,” he said. -he explains. “We also have district irrigation and canal companies that provide the residence with surface irrigation water and we encourage its use where possible and conserve our groundwater for droughts like this. . “

70% of Boise’s water comes from underground and 30% from the Boise River, according to Roldan.

In Meridian, the only source is groundwater. As the city produces water at a sustainable rate, Meridian Public Information Officer Stephany Galbreaith said increased demand, drought conditions or changes in water supply could create possible shortages.

“Preparing water conservation programs now will help ensure that Meridian has an adequate water supply as we continue to grow,” she added.

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