BOISE (KTVB) - Federal scientists are conducting a drought study in six western states in an attempt to gain insights that could help resource managers better allocate scarce water supplies during future droughts.

U.S. Geological Survey workers are measuring flows and temperatures through September in nearly 500 streams mostly in upper tributaries in Idaho, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Officials say the spring snowpack in the western United States in 2015 was much lower than long-term averages, and many western rivers are now at historically low flows.

Project Chief Chris Konrad says this year's warmer, drier weather could provide a preview of future droughts that stress agriculture, rangelands, forests, and fish and wildlife.