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Farmers discuss curtailment on what can be done about it

John Holm / CC BY 2.0

Questions continue over the water curtailment issued for eastern Idaho farms.

Bonneville County farmers and state representatives met at the Melaleuca Conference Center Wednesday morning to see what can be done about this curtailment.

Farmers worry their fields will not survive which could put an end to family legacies.

On May 30, the Department of Water Resources (IDWR) ordered some 6,400 groundwater right holders to shut off their water. The department said it necessary because of a predicted shortfall of water later this year and they are not in compliance with a state mitigation plan.

Some 500,000 acres of farmland could be affected by the curtailment.  

Idaho Governor Brad Little released a statement Tuesday saying surface water users and groundwater users have been working around the clock on a deal to avoid a water curtailment.

“I am encouraged by the progress we’re making to find a path forward to protect farmers and the supply of water for the year. The two sides working together is far better than any government-imposed solution. While the terms of any deal likely won’t be perfect for either side – compromise never is – it would provide water for crops this year. Once we get a deal across the finish line, we will shift our focus to a long-term solution as outlined in Director Weaver’s June 5 letter.

 “I know we can do this. Idahoans have always come together to resolve our differences and find a path forward,” Governor Little said.

There are two other meetings happening on Wednesday night.

Bingham Ground Water District members will be meeting at 7 p.m. at Snake River High School.

Jefferson/Clark Groundwater users will be meeting in Terreton.  We are waiting to hear where or when that will happen.  

This is a continuing story. We will update you as we get new information.

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