Groundwater access restored in Bellevue Triangle
“I hope they got it back on soon enough to save their crops, it’s a brutal time to have your water shut off.”
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — After a week of being without water, 140 junior water users in the Bellevue Triangle will have their groundwater access restored after an agreement between water users and state officials was reached Thursday.
“Well, it’s very important that they were able to get their water back on,” said Big Wood and Little Wood Water Users Association Director John Arkoosh. “I hope they got it back on soon enough to save their crops, think they were off for right at a week, and with the weather we’ve had, it’s a brutal time to have your water shut off.”
Governor Brad Little, who played an important role in the settlement, says this sort of solution— especially during a dire drought year— is what makes the Idaho agriculture community special.
“This settlement is an important first step and sets the stage for a long-term solution in the Wood River area,” said Governor Little. “This kind of coming together to face our challenges head-on – especially during an extreme drought year – is what Idahoans do.”
While this agreement was vital to keep 23,000 acres of farmland watered for the 2021 season, Arkoosh says this can’t work in the future, as water coming from the Aquifer will run out.
“I’m glad that we were able to reach an agreement for this year,” Arkoosh said. “Even though it’s not a long-term agreement it’s kind of a band-aid to get everybody through the year and try to make it work for everyone.”
Part of the settlement says that a long-term, sustainable agreement must be made by December and Arkoosh believes that is vital to keep an important part of Idaho alive.
“I think right now and throughout history, agriculture has been it for this area, the biggest driver for our economy,” said Arkoosh. “I think it needs to stay a big part of our economy.”
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