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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