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2007 Idaho Climate and Water Forecast Workshop Sponsored by: Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and the Idaho Department of Water Resources
Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer • Conjunctive Management Rules,Supreme Court decision. • ESPA Comprehensive Planning Process. • 2007 administration and Mitigation. • Other Stuff.
SCR 136 “These (disputing) parties are negotiating a framework for settlement that makes it critical that the State of Idaho Water Resource Board establish public policy with regard to the future management of the aquifer system”
First Phase Development of a “Framework Plan” which was presented to, approved and funded by the 2007 Legislature.
Second Phase Development of a comprehensive management plan was authorized by HCR 28 and funded by HB320.
Scope • Process to be open to public. • Plan to be comprehensive but have sideboards. • Plan Framework should include interim measures that can be implemented before final plan. • Plan should address; Aquifer management goals and level of management to adjust demand and legally useable supply.
Preliminary Approach The Board has determined that the most effective way to engage the public, affected parties to ongoing litigation and stakeholder groups is to formulate a series of Aquifer Management Alternatives which will be based on adjusting or balancing water demand and legally and administratively available supply.
Specific Approach (cont’d) • Include specific measures and techniques that can be used to accomplish the desired water budget adjustments. • Costs for implementation of the various management levels will be determined. • Initial evaluation of the state and local economic cost/benefit of the alternatives will be undertaken.
Specific Approach • Adaptive mechanisms to quantify progress and adjust implementation measures to be incorporated. • Funding mechanisms, including development of a fee structure, to support selected management alternatives.
Management Alternatives • Managed Recharge • Incidental Recharge • Site-Specific Augmentation • Additional Surface Water Storage and Weather Modification • Conversions – Groundwater to Surface Water • Exchange for water acquired or leased from below Milner.
Goal for Aquifer Management Sustain the economic viability and social and environmental health of the Eastern Snake Plain by adaptively managing a balance between water use and supplies.
Objectives for Aquifer Management • Increase predictability for water users by managing for reliable supply • Create alternatives to administrative curtailment • Manage overall demand for water within the Eastern Snake Plain • Increase recharge to the aquifer • Reduce withdrawals from the aquifer
CAMP Development Process • Board solicited nominations and formed Advisory Committee • Committee makes consensus recommendations to the Board • Committee works with ESHMC and Board staff, contracting for technical assistance as required
Advisory Committee Representatives • Municipalities (2) Plus Alternates • Business (1) • Land developers (1) • Surface water users (3) • Groundwater users (3) • Spring water users (1) • Hydropower (1) • Domestic well owners (1) • Environmental (1) • Mixed-Use (1) • County Assessors (1)
Government Agency Ex-Officio • Bureau of Reclamation • Idaho Department of Water Resources • Idaho Department of Environmental Quality • Idaho Department of Fish and Game • US Fish and Wildlife Service • Idaho Water Resource Research Institute
CAMP Progress • Committee has established Operating Protocols. • Quantitative Goals sub-committee formed. • Committee is scheduled to meet monthly for 14 months. • Committee to have recommendations to Water Board by Summer 2008. • Board will draft plan and hold public meetings Summer and Fall 2008. • Final ESPA Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan to be submitted to Legislature January 2009.
ESPA 2007 Mitigation • Began discussions in early 2007 with water users concerning what options may be employed to mitigate potential water shortages to senior users. • As year progressed water supply tanked and Supreme Court ruled on conjunctive management rules. • Continued meeting with affected water users to try and negotiate a deal to allow the junior users to operate.
2007 Mitigation (cont’d) • After Supreme Court ruling and failure to reach consensus on solution Director moved ahead with Orders issued in 2005. • Warning letters were sent to affected Junior users. • Mitigation was proposed by Dairy industry, Food processors and Ground water users. Director found the mitigation plans acceptable based on estimated impact to senior water rights.
Other ESPA STUFF • Hearings are being scheduled for on-going litigation. • Retired Supreme Court Justice Schroeder has been hired as Hearing Officer for these delivery call cases. • Director has requested that parties who have documented interest in the Milner Hydropower water right application provide information that may be helpful to him before he makes a final decision on licensing the water right. • Technical studies including RFP for Weather Modification.
W-Canal Recharge Project • Managed Recharge major component in Eastern Snake water budget redistribution. • Done additional technical studies and found that injection wells are necessary to achieve goals. • Declined BOR 2025 Grant Application because of operational constraints required by NOAA Fish. • Moving ahead with a pilot effort which will include establishing water treatment methods and injection rates.
Interim Legislative Committee • Presentation given in July meeting that summarized water management issues around state in particular areas where we have potential or are experiencing conjunctive management issues. • Requested a proposal that included prioritized schedule and funding requirements for aquifer study and planning to be considered by Governor and Legislature.
Lower Boise/Treasure Valley Rathdrum Prairie Big Wood Moscow-Pullman Mountain Home Bear River Teton Big Lost Portneuf Blackfoot Aquifer Study Basins Proposed
North Idaho Adjudication • First phase of adjudication authorized by legislature. • IDWR has been moving ahead with preparation, technical design and acquisition of computer hardware and software. • Late local resistance to moving ahead has resulted in a delay of the actual claims taking process. Director and staff continue to hold information meetings to explain the adjudication effort.