Lt. Governor Scott Bedke discusses current water supply situation in Idaho

Lt. Governor Scott Bedke discusses current water supply situation in Idaho
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 9:34 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The water supply is an important topic in the Gem State and Tuesday, Lt. Governor and cattle rancher Scott Bedke visited us at KMVT to discuss where we currently stand and what Idaho farmers and ranchers can expect to see moving forward.

Although the Gem State had a lot of snow this past winter, the water supply is still an issue throughout the state.

“And so, the surface system will have arguably plenty of water but much of our agriculture here in Idaho is dependent on the water that we draw from the aquifer, so these good snow years that we have, while they help the aquifer, they don’t change the level in the aquifer overnight,” said Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke.

Bedke says everyone in the state has to be cautious of the water usage by conserving when they can and using the available water efficiently.

“Then we’ve got to recognize that we have a finite amount, and not take more than comes in,” said Bedke.

The crops that farmers plant each year are also planned based off of the water supply.

Barley doesn’t require as much water as other plants, which is why that particular crop is on the rise in the Gem State.

“We rotate those crops in a way so we can manage the water because some of the crops take more water than other crops so you always have some type of a rotation so you are mixing the water consumptive crops with the less consumptive crops, that will be part of our answer as we address the water issues is our crop rotation,” said Bedke.

He does expect it to be a pretty busy wildfire season, because the all of the fuels will be higher this year.

“We don’t know what the future will bring, we always know that part of living in Idaho is that there is going to be some forest fires, there is going to be range fires and we need to be ready for them, on a year like this there is probably going to be a little bit more fuel that we normally would have,” said Bedke.