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Little signs bill investing $325 million into water, agriculture

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Governor Brad Little signed another part of his “Leading Idaho” plan into law Monday in the Magic Valley, adding record investments in water infrastructure to aid in the economic vitality of agriculture and rural Idaho.

House Bill 769 invests in state water infrastructure to ensure a dependable supply of water now and for future generations.

“Water is the lifeblood of Idaho’s economy. With the help of the Legislature, particularly our co-sponsors Representative Matt Bundy and Senator Carl Crabtree, we’re investing $325 million just in water infrastructure. I can’t think of a better investment for our children and grandchildren than ensuring clean, abundant water, especially here in the arid desert,” Governor Little said. “Idaho leads the nation in conjunctive management of its water resources. We know that the water behind us is directly connected to the water below us. We’ve done a great job of managing the resource, but we need to do more as our state grows and continually faces water scarcity. With these one-time investments, we can increase our storage capacity to better withstand drought years.”

The Idaho Department of Water Resources will manage the funds to bring critical projects to completion, including raising the Anderson Ranch dam and finishing the pipeline to the Mountain Home Airforce base. The funds will also support water recharge infrastructure on the Upper Snake River and replace aging infrastructure for irrigation districts and canals.

With the added investments, Idaho will also update old, less-efficient infrastructure and invest in technologies that improve efficiency, all of which stretches water, a finite resource, further.

“Idaho is and always will be an ag state. I appreciate my legislative partners for joining me in keeping our ag industry thriving in Idaho,” Governor Little said.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Politics

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