More water regulations coming?

IDWR meeting focuses on Groundwater Management Area

by Daniel Moore

Press Staff Writer

“There’s never been a western state that’s got ahead of this problem before it’s too late,” said Rich Rigby, with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, quoting a former IDWR director. Rigby was talking about the lack of water to a packed house in a meeting on Tuesday, July 26 in Pocatello.

The IDWR wants to get ahead of the lack of water in the Snake River Plain Aquifer, and is considering making the whole region—most of southeast Idaho—into a Groundwater Management Area. IDWR Director Gary Spackman declares Groundwater Management Areas, and they can come with special rules attached.

In Groundwater Management Areas, new applications for water rights are only issued if the director determines there is enough water to fulfill them, and the director may require monitoring from water users. A Groundwater Management Area is only one step away from a Critical Groundwater Management Area, which can require even more oversight of water users. …

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