East Idaho Cities Face Less Water If Deal Not Approved
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho cities are facing the prospect of less water this summer if users and Surface Water Coalition cannot reach an agreement in the coming weeks.
The Post Register reports that the Idaho Department of Water Resources issued an order Tuesday that groundwater users with water rights junior to those held by the coalition will have to mitigate 44,200 acre-feet of water unless a deal is reached by May 3.
Groundwater users who have approved a mitigation plan by that deadline are safe from curtailment above levels agreed upon with the coalition, which is a group of Magic Valley irrigators who secured their water rights in 1989.
Idaho Falls, Pocatello and a coalition of cities in the area have been trying to negotiate a compromise that would allow the coalition to have enough water while still enabling the cities to grow.