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How water curtailment could impact the local economy

"It would effectively shut down the economy of Eastern Idaho."

Rep. Stephanie Mickelsen

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) — Water districts in Eastern Idaho are facing curtailment at a crucial time in the growing season. No water means no crops, and no crops means no revenue. Farmers and state representatives gathered Wednesday to discuss the predicament of the Bonneville Jefferson Water District as the pressure of water cut offs weighs on the community.

"This is just a meeting to let you know that there is an offer on the table," said Skyler Johns, the district's attorney. "It's a one year deal that based off of what the obligation for our district will be in a position where we can attain that goal. You'll have a safe harbor. You will not be curtailed, but it gives a limited window for us and the Surface Water Coalition to come up with a long-term plan to manage the resource beyond 2025."

The current offer is a temporary solution to a far-reaching problem. If a long-term mitigation agreement is not reached by Oct. 1, Johns says litigation on behalf of the district will resume. So far, efforts toward a sustainable agreement for all parties have been in vain. Farmers are looking at ways to demonstrate their frustration to local and state legislators.

Thursday, Bonneville County Commissioners drafted a resolution in support of crop producers. They are petitioning Governor Brad Little to intervene in the water rights battle. Specifically, they would like him to instruct the director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources to put a stay on the current water call from the Twin Falls Canal Company. You can view the signed resolution below.

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Ashley Chilcutt

Ashley is a reporter and producer for Local News 8.


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