IIEA Show And Conference: All About The Aquifer

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By Joey Martin

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The annual Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association Show and Conference is underway in Burley.

On Wednesday it was all about the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News found out where the aquifer stands.

In this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho.

"There's no other aquifer like it in the world. Its hugely productive and we've got to maintain it."

The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer is the lifeblood of our agricultural community.

That's why the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association dedicated an entire day to the preservation and recharge of this water resource.

"Managed recharge in particular, where we actually go out and find an area and intentionally put water back into the ground to recharge the aquifer.
In my particular talk I was looking at modeling results from recharge. So we looked at some theoretical recharge to see how the aquifer would respond. And we also looked at actual recharge that took place from 2007 to 2011 and see how that looks in the aquifer.
Said Hydro-Geologist, Mike McVay.

The seminar also discussed the differences between soft conversion and direct recharge for the aquifer.

"Soft Conversion is where you substitute surface water for ground water. So if you get surface water then you turn off the ground water well. And then the ground water stays in the ground and the acres are still irrigated."
"And then direct Recharge is where we take surface water from the river... creeks and directly in deep wells into the aquifers."
Said Hydro-Geologist, Brian Higgs.

What's special about this year's conference is the amount of information and technology available for the average farmer and irrigation user.

"As a farmer... as a business person, you need to be as efficient as you can and it brings people together and allows people like me to come in and talk to them about the aquifer as a whole and maybe they can start thinking about the whole system instead of just their farm.
Said McVay.

Bringing the Ag community into one spot for education.

The IIEA show and conference will continue Thursday with more than 50 vendors.

Everything from the newest irrigation technology to distribution and manufacturing.

The show is taking place inside the Burley Best Western Inn.

It will run from 8am till 4:30.

It's free to the public and no registration is required.