Cloud Seeding

Idaho Power meteorologists monitor winter storms as they pass across the central Idaho mountains, looking for opportunities to increase the amount of snow that falls in drainages that feed the Snake River.

The goal of our cloud-seeding program is to provide additional water for Idaho Power’s hydropower projects, which provide reliable, affordable, clean, energy for our customers. Increased snowpack also benefits irrigators, winter recreationists, river users, and fish and wildlife.

The original program began in 2003 to increase snow accumulation in the south and middle forks of the Payette River watershed. In 2008, Idaho Power expanded its cloud-seeding efforts by enhancing a program operated by a group of counties and other stakeholders in the upper Snake River system above Milner Dam.

Idaho Power operates remote-controlled, ground-based generators and aircraft to target the Payette, Boise and Wood river basins as well as the upper Snake River system.

Analyses conducted by Idaho Power since 2003 indicate the annual snowpack in the Payette River Basin increased an average of approximately 12%.

The typical cloud seeding season runs from Nov. 1 through April 30.

For additional details, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Idaho Farm Bureau’s Dirt Road Discussions podcast featured a conversation with Idaho Power’s cloud-seeding team about the program. You can listen here, or find it on your favorite podcast platform.

To learn more, visit the following websites: