A deep dive into the data has led the IPUD’s staff to conclude that not only is the drought almost certain to continue through 2022, but very likely it will be worse than last year.
For many years, IPUD has kept track of the flow rates in the streams coming out of the watershed. One thing that became apparent was that whenever the flows reached 1,000,000 gallons per day at the end of February or any time thereafter, the streamflows would still be adequate the following October – greatly reduced, but adequate nonetheless to serve customer demand. This “one-million factor” became a reliable early indicator of years in which there would be no water shortage problem in summer and fall. Conversely, summer and fall water shortages were characterized by years in which the streamflows never at any time got close to the one million mark.
This past year, with an atypically large amount of rain falling in October, November, and December, the streamflows at the end of December were already at 1.4 million gallons a day, well above normal for that time of year.
Staff wondered about this question: If 1 million gallons in February signals a year of no water worries, could the same be said of even more than a million gallons in December?
The answer was surprising – counterintuitive, in fact!
You can read the discussion – and staff’s conclusions – as they were presented in a report to the Board of Directors on February 23. Click here for the staff’s report.
You can also review the water usage restrictions that are currently in effect. Click here for the usage restrictions.