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Idaho Water Resource Board tours Twin Falls Canal Company projects

Multiple projects were visited during the tour including “The Forks”
Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 8:52 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS COUNTY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho Water Resource Board toured multiple Twin Falls Canal Company projects, as they discussed the scarcity of water in Twin Falls county this year.

Multiple projects were visited during the tour including “The Forks,” which is located south of Hansen. This is the location where the Main Line Canal splits in two separate directions. The High Line runs south and the low line runs to the west to a power plant.

According to the Twin Falls Canal Company General Manager Jay Barlogi, roughly 70,000 acres are irrigated via the High Line whereas about 100,000 acres are irrigated out of the Low Line canal.

During their tour, the IWRB discussed water being a limited resource and how this year has been a difficult one in terms of managing water shortages, partially because it was unexpected.

Southwest Irrigation District Chairman Randy Brown spoke from his property on Murtagh Lake where he said without water in Idaho, producers would not be able to grow their crops and it would be difficult to sustain families and towns who depend on agriculture.

“We have to conserve water when possible, especially when we see a trend we might be in currently,” said Brown. “We have to do all that we can, maybe changing crop rotation is one of them.”

The Southwest Irrigation is 110,000 acres and as they look into the future, Brown said his district has to use every tool in the toolbox to find ways to conserve water.

Brown added a change in agriculture in his area has led to a difference in the amount of water being used for irrigation.

“With more water crops like corn and potatoes and sugar beets....those weren’t typically in our area historically,” said Brown. “As we bring them into our area, we have to be able to manage them.”

Brown added it is important for the IWRB to continue to look at projects that will help the state conserve water for the future.

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