Idaho Water Resource Board invests in aquifer recharge, irrigation efficiency projects

Idaho News
Capital Press The Idaho Water Resource Board’s Milepost 31 Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer recharge site. Projects adding to recharge capacity are among those funded by the board Nov. 18. Boosting aquifer levels and improving irrigation delivery efficiency are the focus of Idaho Water Resource Board moves to financially support several projects in the state’s south-central and southeast regions. The board Nov. 18 approved a $14.1 million loan to Raft River Recharge Group. Plans call for building a pump station on the Snake River, a 13-mile pipeline, and recharge basins to add water to a declining aquifer in a state-designated critical groundwater management area. The declining aquifer levels are a key factor in intermittent surface flows on the Raft River, a Snake tributary. Most farmers are now pumping groundwater for irrigation,…
Read More

Drought, low snowpack may foretell Idaho’s future

Idaho News
Idaho Statesman Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Boise, ID. Much of Southern Idaho, cut through in scythe like fashion by the Snake River Plain, relies on the frozen water stored in the state’s mountains to fill its rivers. When winter ends and summer’s broiling heat arrives, it is these snowy peaks that serve as the state’s reservoir, filling the Salmon, Snake, Big Lost, Boise and other tributaries with cold, clear water. But as the amount of snowfall declines, with scientists citing the effects of climate change as a key contributor, major problems arise for the state’s ecosystems, residents and agriculture industry. And that erosion is already underway. By the turn of the century, Idaho could see reductions of 35%-65% of its snowpack, according to a study published in Nature Reviews…
Read More

To breach or not to breach the Snake River dams?

Idaho News
By Joel Mills; Lewiston Tribune The Little Goose Dam is seen Feb. 2 along the Snake River near Riparia, Wash. Pete Caster. Several Lewiston city councilors got behind a proposed resolution in favor of retaining the four lower Snake River dams after a presentation Monday from members of Citizens for Preservation of Fish and Dams, but one councilor said he wants a similar presentation from the other side before he casts a vote. Marvin Dugger, Dick Sherwin and Dan Caldwell from the dam preservation group offered their take in opposition to Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson’s $33 billion proposal to breach the dams to improve fish habitat. Several other area governmental entities have gone on the record in opposition to the plan, including Nez Perce County. And several city of Lewiston…
Read More