Despite heavy snow, some C.O. reservoirs not expected to fill

February 22, 2017
Despite heavy snow, some C.O. reservoirs not expected to fill

Officials say there should be plenty of water

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - After all that snow and rain, the water levels in Central Oregon reservoirs might surprise some people.

"The three Deschutes upper basin reservoirs are at or below average for this time of year,” Deschutes Basin Watermaster Jeremy Giffin said Wednesday, “So, we will not be filling Crane Prairie, Crescent Lake or Wickiup (reservoirs) this year.”

Those three reservoirs currently range between 65 and 77 percent full. Several years of drought had left Wickiup’s levels very low going into winter.

Even though the Deschutes Basin reservoirs aren’t expected to fill, water should still be plentiful, officials say.

"It's kind of a mixed bag there, because we will have below-average reservoir levels to start the irrigation season,” Giffin said. “However, the natural flow of the Deschutes River from tributaries such as the Little Deschutes River will be very high because of the robust snowpack. So I think we're probably looking at an above-average irrigation season."

Prineville Reservoir is at 65 percent and is expected to fill, and Bowman Dam is releasing more water in preparation.

"We have increased the outflows in response to the inflows being fairly high right now, but as the inflow drops off, we will be dropping off the outflow to match that,” Giffin said.

For the latest updates on Deschutes Basin reservoir levels. go to

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