While budget cuts have forced cutbacks in such things as dam safety in the state, another project is taking priority…aquifer recharge.  Yesterday members of the Idaho Water Resource Board told the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee that they want to implement a plan to provide $1.5-million dollars over the next five years to pay canal companies to put water back into the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. 

Water experts have been saying over the past few years that more water is being taken out of the aquifer than goes back into each year and that such a recharge effort is mandatory in order to preserve the way of life in southern Idaho.  The plan would pay canal companies $300,000 dollars a year for the next five years for the recharge.  The money would be provided from funds received by the IDWR from groundwater users on other projects.