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Water rights weigh on eastern Idaho

Water rights weigh on Eastern Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Several cities and farmers in eastern Idaho could experience water cutbacks.

The director of The Department of Water Resources, Gary Spackman sent out a notice of potential curtailment to areas that pull from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. This area includes the city of Idaho Falls, Ammon, Blackfoot and all the way south toward Twin Falls.

The Surface Water Coalition issued a water delivery call, claiming that junior water pumping areas were infringing on their priority water rights. The coalition comprises seven irrigation districts and canal companies that have water rights dating back to the early 1900's. If the Department of Water Resources find that those areas are impairing the coalition's water rights, an order of curtailment could be issued.

Ammon and Blackfoot plan to discuss options next week with the Department of Water Resources. Mayor of Idaho Falls Rebecca Casper released a statement on the matter.

"Should the city receive an order, we would pursue mitigation measures through existing storage and surface irrigation water rights... We would also look at water conservation measures as needed," said Casper.

Spackman will release curtailment predictions in April after deciding the effects water usage has had on surface water. 

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