Over $300,000 awarded to water, wastewater facilities across Idaho

Idaho News
KTVB BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality announced today that they are awarding $331,741 to nine drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho. The funding for the grant award was made possible under Governor Brad Little's "Leading Idaho" plan, the news release said. "Families, farmers, ranchers, and all Idaho residents rely on clean, efficient water and wastewater systems. These systems are not only a crucial part of our way of life, but our economy as well. Funding for these projects from my Leading Idaho plan aims to ensure that Idaho residents – especially those in our rural communities – can depend on our water and wastewater infrastructure for generations to come," Idaho Governor Brad Little said. This grant provides 50 percent of the necessary funding for each…
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After $3M effort, Idaho officials hope they killed off invasive quagga mussels in Snake River

Idaho News, Research
By Clark Corbin; Idaho Capital Sun Idaho Capital Sun Idaho state officials are hopeful that the approximately $3 million effort to kill invasive quagga mussels detected in the Snake River in September was successful. But they don’t expect to know if they wiped out all of the mussels until waters warm up and water sampling surveys resume next spring. The plan to kill the mussels involved treating a 16-mile section of the Snake River near Twin Falls with a copper-based chemical that was hazardous to mussels and fish and required state officials to airlift boats into otherwise inaccessible portions of the river. Some state employees even camped on tiny islands and river banks for days on end in an effort to kill the mussels before they could reproduce rapidly, which…
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DEQ announces drinking water and wastewater funding opportunities for fiscal year 2025

Idaho News
Local News 8 BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing fiscal year 2025 funding opportunities for Idaho’s drinking water and wastewater systems. Funding will be used to assist eligible public drinking water and wastewater systems with facility planning projects and help entities build or repair existing public drinking water systems and wastewater treatment facilities. Eligible drinking water applicants include all community public water systems and nonprofit noncommunity systems. Eligible wastewater applicants include governmental entities and nonprofit corporations. Funding Availability DEQ has several funding opportunities available. State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loans SRF loans provide low-interest funding for up to 100% of design and construction costs for drinking water and wastewater facilities. SRF loans also offer below-market interest rates with average rates under 2%. Planning Grants…
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Land use changes by Boise have been big. Why that is causing ‘a major problem’ for wells

Idaho News
By Max Stevenson; Idaho Statesman Beneath the high desert of the Treasure Valley lies a complex aquifer. Below-ground water levels are changing in response to the shifting uses of land at ground level. Urbanization has replaced farm fields with subdivisions and commercial centers, reducing how much water flows into the ground through irrigation. These rapid changes have begun to lower the Boise area’s water table, causing problems for some rural homes that rely on well water. Dennis Owlsey, a hydrogeologist with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, stood before a screen one day this summer, looking at a map showing the conversion of farmland to development. “You don’t need to run any fancy statistics just to visually see it’s a major problem,” Owlsey said. ‘Flood irrigation’ adds to groundwater Western…
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‘If we don’t treat, we lose the whole river’: Quagga mussel treatment underway on mid-Snake River

Idaho News
By Jude Binkley; KTVB Quagga mussels. TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Crews are on the Snake River working to treat and eradicate quagga mussels. It has been just over two weeks since the invasive mussels were found in a section of the river near Twin Falls. Since then, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has done extensive sampling around the mid-Snake River, finding veligers - the larval form of the mussels - between the Twin Falls Dam area and Centennial Waterfront Park. A plume with an adult quagga mussel was also found near Shoshone Falls. Crews are working to deploy containers full of a copper-based formulation called "Natrix" as a treatment to eradicate the mussels. The ISDA says they are acting fast and aggressively to stop an issue that has…
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Department of Agriculture reminds people of fishing ban in portions of Snake River due to discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Idaho

Idaho News
By Kara Valentine; KTVB Quagga mussel infestation from Lake Michigan. NOAA. TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A fishing ban on a stretch of the Snake River was put into effect Friday, Sept. 22, in response to the detection of quagga mussels in Twin Falls. "This is more than a local Twin Falls issue because so many people from the Treasure Valley use the Snake River," a public information officer wrote. As part of the emergency declaration, Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG), along with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, closed fishing of any kind on the Snake River from Twin Falls Hydroelectric Dam to the bridge crossing the Snake River at Highway 46. On Monday, Sept. 25 the Idaho State Department of Agriculture said people are not staying off the water.…
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NOAA predicts warmer, drier winter in Idaho

Idaho News
By Greg Foley; Idaho Mountain Express The Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service is predicting warmer and drier conditions in Idaho during the heart of the winter.Map courtesy of NOAA. Return of El Niño likely to influence nation’s weather in different ways, agency states The weather in the Northwest is likely to be warmer and drier than normal this coming winter, possibly leaving skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts longing for the heavy snowfalls of last year. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, which released a set of official long-range weather forecasts on Thursday. The forecast maps for the heart of the winter—December, January and February—indicate above-normal temperatures for most of the northern part of the…
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New committee takes on Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer

Idaho News
By Bill Schaefer; Capital Press POCATELLO, Idaho — A diverse group of 13 water users met Sept. 13 to review the 2015 agreement between groundwater and surface water users and its impact on the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. The group's job is to draft amendments to the agreement or a new management plan that will help restore the aquifer without harming senior or junior water rights holders. IDWR Director Gary Spackman tasked James Cefalo, the IDWR eastern regional manager, with organizing the advisory committee. In 2016, Spackman designated the aquifer as a Ground Water Management Area. A GWMA designates all or part of a groundwater basin that may be approaching conditions of a Critical Ground Water Area. Idaho aquifer Under a GWMA, applications for new water appropriations may be approved…
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Toxin-producing cyanobacteria found in water samples at Idaho’s Island Park Reservoir

Idaho News
By Christina Lords; Idaho Capital Sun  This is an example of a blue-green algae bloom in Boyer Slough on Lake Pend Oreille in August 2021. (Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game) Idahoans should use caution when recreating in or near the Island Park Reservoir after high amounts of toxin-producing cyanobacteria was recently found in water samples there, according to a press release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Visit the Idaho Recreational Water Health Advisories tab at the Get Healthy Idaho website for advisories and sampled locations at water bodies throughout Idaho. The toxins can be harmful to people, pets and livestock. The health department works closely with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to identify, respond to, and monitor cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms, known as cyanoHABs. When…
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Restrictions on Salmon River to protect spawn start Aug. 15

Idaho News
Magic Valley Times News Salmon spawning. Restrictions on the Upper Main Salmon River within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area begin Aug. 15. These restrictions are in effect each summer to provide spawning salmon their best chance to successfully lay their eggs in the gravels of the Salmon River, over 900 miles from the Pacific Ocean. On Aug. 15, the following stretches of river are closed to boating: Buckhorn Bridge to Stanley, Mormon Bend to Yankee Fork, and Torrey’s Takeout to the Eastern boundary of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. At this time, Indian Riffles and Torrey’s Hole are designated Quiet Zones. Quiet Zones require boaters to seek deep water, remain in their boats, and minimize paddling or other activities that may disturb spawning fish. Lower O’Brien Campground, the river side…
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