Water, the Hub of Life. Water is its mater and matrix, mother and medium. Water is the most extraordinary substance! Practically all its properties are anomalous, which enabled life to use it as building material for its machinery. Life is water dancing to the tune of solids.
– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
After years of below average snow and moisture in most parts of the west, Idaho included, this 2016-17 winter has been a show stopper. The average yearly snowfall for Boise is 19.2 inches. By mid January of 2017, Boise had already reached 29.2 inches of snowfall.
Mountain regions that feed into the Snake River have recorded well above normal moisture. The Idaho Water Resources Department tracks Snow Water Equivalencies (SWI)—that is the amount of water contained within the snow pack. This year, with the exception of Owyhee County, southern Idaho has recorded from 114 – 172% of normal SWI. The runoff, combined with an abnormally wet spring so far, is quickly filling long-empty reservoirs and canal ditches. Rivers are full, creeping into their flood zones.
The average volume for Shoshone Falls on the Snake River is 3,200 cubic feet per second (CFS). The amount of water rushing over Shoshone Falls is regulated by Idaho Power’s upstream dam on Twin Falls,which now looks like a rather anemic Single Falls. In the driest of years, Idaho Power is mandated to allow at least 300 CFS to spill over iconic Shoshone Falls, which boasts a 212-foot-drop and a width of 900 feet, making it an important tourist attraction for southern Idaho.
On April 3rd, Shoshone Falls was running at almost 14,000 CFS.
By 2025, at least 3.5 billion people – about half the world’s populations – will live in areas without enough water for agriculture, industry, and human needs… Worldwide, water quality conditions appear to have degraded in almost all regions with intensive agriculture and in large urban and industrial areas.
– World Resources Institute, October 2000
Quotations assembled by: http://www.gardendigest.com/water.htm