Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV )
Today was supposed to be the day the department of water resources could start curtailing up to 38–thousand acres in the Magic Valley.
For now, that order is delayed.
A dispute over one of Idaho's most valuable resources: water.
In January, Gary Spackman of Idaho department of water resources issued a groundwater curtailment order for 157 thousand acres.
It would have limited water usage to 2,300 water rights holders.
This, so Rangen, a fish farm, could get heavier flows of spring water.
For North Snake Groundwater District Chairman Lynn Carlquist, that order was worrisome.
Carlquist notes, "that water curtailment was pretty devastating because it curtailed water to cities to industrial users and to farmers."
Groundwater districts filed a mitigation plan to see if they could come up with a solution.
The director then issued another curtailment with fewer acres impacted—– which the state put on hold on April 28th —– now a judge will take up the matter.
Says Carlquist, “Nobody will be shut off as of today. Without the stay the department would be asking groundwater pumpers whether it be cities or Glanbia cheese or the pumpers to start shutting off wells and that would be pretty devastating to the economy of South Central Idaho. There's a lot of dollars involved with sugar beets, potatoes and all the crops so it would be a pretty big hit.”
But, there is no telling if or when things could change.
Carlquist adds, "I think we'll find a solution. I'm not sure when or what it will be or how costly it will be but I think we'll find a solution."
Two sides, searching for a compromise.