BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Idaho Water Resource Board is reviewing several potential sites to locate a large recharge basin in the upper Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.
The sites include an area north of Lake Walcott, the Aberdeen-Springfield area, New Sweden near Idaho Falls, and a site near West Market Lake in Jefferson County.
The board wants to increase its aquifer recharge capacity in the upper valley. It wants a site that could handle about 200 cubic feet per second of water flow. The board is responsible for recharging 250,000 acre-feet of water into the aquifer on an ongoing basis. It has a number of large sites in the Magic Valley area, but wants to complement its one upper valley site at Egin Bench, near the St. Anthony Sand Dunes.
"There are so many pieces to this puzzle," said board member Vince Alberdi of Kimberly. "We have to look closely at each site."
The West Market Lake site is considered a front-runner. It is located directly west of Interstate 15 and the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area. Water Resource Board staff said it has geologic features conducive for recharge, no known endangered species, and no wilderness study or other major land use issues. But, staff said it would still require pumping water uphill about 33 vertical feet over 8 miles.
A sub-committee has been assigned to review all of the potential sites .