Idaho Growth is Barely Slowing as Water Resources Are Taxed
I think we already know this. Twin Falls County is among the fastest-growing of Idaho’s 44 counties. A website usually devoted to stories about animals is featuring the top fastest-growing counties in Idaho. Of course, at the top of the list are two counties in the Treasure Valley. Growth elsewhere is mainly centered on the cities. Most of which are located alongside a lake or a river.
I know there are people locally who believe we don’t need additional growth. They would reject the adage that says if you’re not growing, you’re dying. There are places across the country where growth stalled and all the young people moved away for opportunity. It splits family bonds. Growth locally increases the chance your kids won’t move to Denver or Seattle.
However, I know smart people who are warning we can’t sustain much more growth. Water is a precious resource. If you bring another 500,000 people into Idaho and locate them along the Snake River crescent, we’ll be pushing some boundaries. Diverting water from other parts of the country is possible, but there’s a political downside. The people who have it may not want to share.
We could see a reversal on the way. Access to fresh water created the huge population centers of the Northeast and Midwest. Then taxes and regulations and harsh winters chased a lot of people away. If state governments in those regions ever wake up and come up with a remedy, a lot of parched Westerners may be going east.
A couple of hours before writing this, I came across a link about our most populous states. It mentions many are hemorrhaging people, but in 25 years the same states will still remain highly populated. Then you can get back to long drives in open range.