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Aquifer recharge should surpass projections

Thanks to a wet February and water supply surplus in Upper Snake River Reservoirs, the Idaho Water Resource Board is now projecting it will surpass its original aquifer recharge goals this year.

The Board expects to recharge 290,000 acre-feet of water into the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer this year, up from its original 250,00 acre-foot goal.

There is still some ice and snow in canals, but Recharge Program Manager Wesley Hipke said recharge flows are increasing. He said surplus water flows should allow the board to conduct aquifer recharge activities through at least mid-April.

“We’ve had a big change from January until now,” Hipke said. “The month of February made all of the difference.”

Some Idaho mountain ranges had 300% of normal snowfall in February.

Department of Water Resources hydrologists said record recharge last year raised the aquifer by more than 1.7 million acre-feet, the largest single-year increase in 80 years.

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