Thursday, July 4, 2013

Magic Reservoir Depleted, Millions in Idaho Crop Losses Expected

Posted By on Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Hundreds of Lincoln County farmers in south central Idaho could lose millions of dollars in crops due to severe drought conditions at the Magic Reservoir. Simply put, the reservoirs's water reserves are nearly gone—it is currently at about 2.5 percent of capacity.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that Magic Reservoir has only about 5,000 acre feet of water and is described as "a giant mud hole."

"It's exhausted," Carl Pendleton, board chair of the Big Wood Canal Company, told the Mountain Express. "It's disturbing, but it's Mother Nature."

The Magic Reservoir relies on the Big Wood River for filling and even though the Big Wood still is reporting healthy water levels, it turns out that the so-called Bellevue Triangle draws water from the Big Wood before it reaches Magic Reservoir.

Because the Magic Reservoir's inability to serve Lincoln County, farmers said they are avoiding late-season crops such as potatoes, sugar beets and corn and have instead planted small grains, particularly barley, which are harvested earlier in the season.

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