Water use on the Snake River plain, Idaho and eastern Oregon

Professional Paper 1408-E



Amounts of water withdrawn and consumptively used for irrigation and other uses on the Snake River Plain were estimated to help deter- mine hydrologic effects of ground- and surface-water use. Irrigation is the largest off stream use of water on the plain. Surface-water irriga- tion began in the 1840's and increased rapidly through the early 1900's. Use of ground water for irrigation accelerated after World War II. In 1980, about 3.1 million acres were irrigated: 1.0 million acres were irrigated with about 2.3 million acre-feet of ground water; 2.0 million acres were irrigated with about 12.7 million acre-feet of surface water; 0.1 million acres were irrigated with combined surface and ground water. Historical changes in aquifer storage and spring discharge are closely related to changes in irrigation practices. Industries, including aquaculture, withdrew an estimated 1.97 million acre-feet of water. Withdrawals for other offstream uses, including public and rural supplies, totaled 132,000 acre-feet. Hydroelectric power generation is an economically important instream use of water. In 1980, about 52 million acre-feet of surface water was used to generate 2.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity. Native vegetation evapo- transpired an estimated 3.7 million acre-feet, and 900,000 acre-feet evaporated from bare ground and open water.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water use on the Snake River plain, Idaho and eastern Oregon
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1408
Chapter E
DOI 10.3133/pp1408E
Year Published 1988
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Contributing office(s) Idaho Water Science Center
Description vi, 51 p.
Country United States
State Idaho;Oregon
Other Geospatial Snake River Plain
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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