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NRCS to allocate $5.1 million for eastern Idaho water conservation projects

The Idaho Water Resource Board’s Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Stabilization Project will receive $5.1 million to help implement water conservation projects. According to the Idaho Water Resource Board, the funding will be held by the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. The money will be paid to producers as a cost-share for implementing projects to stabilize and recover groundwater levels in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA). Neeley Miller with the board’s water planning staff said some of the projects could help junior groundwater users meet terms of a recent settlement between surface and groundwater users. Eligible projects could conserve water through ground-to-surface water conversions, removing end guns on pivot sprinklers, converting irrigated cropland to dryland farming, fallowing crop land or flood-irrigation enhancements. “I’m excited about getting the grant,” Water Resource Board Chairman Roger Chase said. “Anything we can do to help with water conservation in the ESPA area is really important.” Miller said the funds will be available in 2018-2020. Applications will be solicited in the fall of 2017 and will be ranked based on criteria set by the board and grant partners.

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