Friday, March 27, 2009

Water News

Tuthill Accepts Water Replacement Plan

Boise--Idaho Department of Water Resources Director David Tuthill issued an order accepting a water replacement plan from the North Snake and Magic Valley Ground Water Districts that temporary stops curtailment of 865 junior water rights affecting 430 water right holders in the Magic Valley.

"The 2009 replacement plan has been approved with some very important conditions. The ground water districts will have to move very rapidly to provide the water that is due to the senior water right holder Clear Springs. Two months is adequate time to install this system, but the ground water districts must work diligently to achieve this result," said Tuthill.

The order is part of a continuing response to a water delivery call made in 2005 by senior water right holder Clear Springs Foods.

The curtailment affects farmers with ground water rights in Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties with water right priority dates junior to November 16, 1972. The water rights include agricultural, commercial, industrial, municipal, stockwater, and other consumptive uses. The potential curtailment impacts approximately 41,000 acres of land irrigated by ground water.

Two weeks ago the North Snake and Magic Valley Ground Water Districts filed a replacement plan to provide water to Clear Springs Foods through a new pipeline project that transports water from irrigation wells above Clear Springs directly to the facility.

Director Tuthill accepted the 2009 replacement plan on condition that the appropriate temperature, quality and reliability of the water suits Clear Springs Foods. The ground water districts agreed to post a bond equal to the cost of project construction, but the curtailment still could happen this year if ground water users back off their promises to supply water.

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