Any lack of moisture is cause for a red flag in eastern Idaho. Our vast agricultural economy depends on it.
Above the trees and the rooftops, blanket of shade and potential buckets of water float through the sky -- rolling, fluffy clouds.
"Clouds like this, they're actually a little bit bigger, they have more development, they already have a little bit of precip that's falling out," said Idaho Power representative Derek Blestrud on Thursday. "The clouds we use are more of that strata form."
Blestrud is somewhat of a cloud-seeding expert. The company has 16 cloud seeding generators across eastern Idaho and works in partnership with several counties to essentially create weather.
"We're trying to get the actual cloud itself to precipitate more," said Blestrud.
The machines shoot silver iodide into the center of a cloud, inducing precipitation. Blestrud spoke to county commissioners in St. Anthony on Thursday about last year's seeding efforts and what the future may hold.
"You have to measure over time, it's a long haul," said Madison County commissioner Kimber Ricks. "You can't see short term results always."
Ricks said cloud seeding is a priority because of the precipitation stability the process encourages. But of course to seed clouds, you need clouds.
"This year we didn't have many clouds to seed," said Ricks. 'It's been a very sparse year for the clouds."
Still, said Bonneville County commissioner Dave Radford, water is eastern Idaho's life-blood. Individual counties have their own cloud-seeding generators in addition to those operated by Idaho Power. Radford said water is worth it.
"There's a lot of potential for every drop of water you get," said Radford.
Despite the lack of storm clouds this year, Radford said things are going well.
"The storms we have had through here we've been able to cloud seed effectively," said Radford.
Radford said the efforts will continue.
Counties including Fremont, Bonneville and Madison have been working in partnership with Idaho Power on cloud seeding efforts for 3 years.