Aquifer Recharge Running Behind
The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer that supplies underground water to a large portion of southern Idaho continues to be depleted but measures being taken to reverse the trend seem to be few and far between. The Idaho Department of Water Resources met last Friday to discuss several issues including solutions to the aquifer depletion. Rich Rigby, a senior advisor for the IDWR told the Times News that steps need to be taken to follow the recommendations of the Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan. He says the project needs more volunteers to carry through with the recommendations. The Idaho legislature’s plan to help fund the $100-million dollar project to replenish the aquifer has fallen on hard times with the economic situation. Therefore there aren’t as many monetary incentives to get participation in the program and therefore not as much progress is being made. While Idaho Department of Water Resources officials are looking for more cooperation from water users, many of those same water users are saying there needs to be more leadership from the IDWR. In the past few years several aquifer recharge projects have been devised to run excess surface water back into the ground. While the efforts are helping, the projects may not be enough to reverse the trend.