TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Idaho water managers have issued the first water curtailment order for the year as water levels on the Snake River are expected to come up short. The Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) on Thursday sent 328 groundwater users with junior water rights notice of possible curtailment as early as May 20. The IDWR predicts a shortfall of around 162,600 acre-foot of water to senior priority water users on the Eastern Snake River Plain for the season. "The shortfall prediction means that IDWR will curtail more than 328 ground water rights with priority dates junior to Dec. 25, 1979 in the coming weeks if the holders of those water rights do not come into compliance with an approved mitigation plan with a ground water district," said the state agency in the announcement. The junior water rights users have until May 20, to join one of the seven approved mitigation plans for the Eastern Snake River Plain, or show how their plan would not impact senior water rights users, to avoid curtailment, according to IDWR. "By law, we have to keep people with senior water rights whole, and we want to make the junior ground water pumpers aware that despite the settlement agreements between the Surface Water Coalition (“SWC”), IGWA, and the Participating Cities, if junior ground water pumpers are not participating in an approved mitigation plan, they could be subject to curtailment this year," said Mathew Weaver, Deputy Director of IDWR in a prepared statement.  At the end of April, the IDWR declared a drought emergency for more than half of the state.

You can view the curtailment order below:

CM-DC-2010-001-20220505 Final Order Curtailing Ground Water Rights Junior to December 25, 1979

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