Conditions remain dry throughout Missouri river basin

January 6, 2022 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Conditions remain dry throughout the Missouri River basin, so officials are predicting that the amount of water flowing down the river this year will be below average again.

The dry forecast reduces the chance of widespread flooding along the river this spring although some local flooding is still possible if chunks of ice block the flow of water or if heavy rains fall on an area.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that last year was the tenth driest year on record in the Missouri River basin. Roughly 15.2 million acre feet of water flowed down the river last year. This year, runoff is expected to increase to 21.7 million acre feet, but that would still be only 84% of of the long-term average.

So the amount of water released from the dams along the river will remain at a low level early this year as officials work to conserve water. But there should be enough water in the river to meet the needs of cities downstream that rely on it.