BOISE, Idaho (News Release) Idaho Water Resource Board Chairman Roger Chase will address the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power on Wednesday, Oct. 4th about Idaho’s use of surplus winter stream flows to recharge the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA).
Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is a member of the subcommittee, which wants to hear about the use of surplus flows for aquifer recharge in general and to understand why some states are not using more un-storable and unallocated federal water for aquifer recharge.
Chairman Chase said he will explain how the Idaho Water Resource Board is working to expand infrastructure in the Upper Snake River Valley and Middle Snake region in order to recharge about 250,000 acre-feet of water into the ESPA each year. Extraordinary precipitation enabled the board to set a record in the winter of 2016-17, recharging more than 315,000 acre-feet of water into the ESPA.
A key reason that Idaho has been able to use federal water for recharge is that the state has a water right that’s specifically set aside for the purpose of using surplus flows to recharge the ESPA.
“We have been working closely with the federal government and Idaho water users to recharge as much surplus flows into the ESPA as possible,” Chase said, “and we are ramping up to maximize on flood flows with the funding and support of the Idaho Legislature.”
“Idaho is nationally recognized for its efforts in dealing with water issues,” he continued. “Our aquifer-recharge efforts are among the best in the nation. Water users and citizens across the state are working together to finding solutions to our water issues.”