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Water curtailment compliance paused as negotiations continue

Saving water on your lawn
Posted at 10:27 AM, Jun 14, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Director Mathew Weaver with the Idaho Department of Water Resources ordered that his staff pause compliance field inspections in connection with his May 30 water curtailment order on June 13, 2024.

RELATED | To preserve senior water rights, water curtailment ordered for six Idaho groundwater districts

The order was issued as part of the Surface Water Coalition delivery call matter after the Department projected that Twin Falls Canal Company could suffer a water supply shortage of 74,100 acre-feet.

Inspections were paused as settlement negotiations continue with surface water users and the four groundwater districts which are not currently protected from curtailment under the mitigation plan.

“The Department hopes the parties can finalize an agreement,” said Shelley Keen, IDWR Deputy Director. “If the parties finalize an agreement, ground water district members will be protected from curtailment.”

If a settlement is reached, IDWR does not anticipate pursuing enforcement actions with any groundwater district members who comply with the mitigation plan for the rest of the irrigation season.

This comes after IDWR staff completed inspections for about 60% of curtailed wells, during which they confirmed that many groundwater users had stopped irrigating and were complying with the curtailment order.

Should settlement discussions be unsuccessful the IDWR will be required to resume their curtailment enforcement, which the department will only do after full communication with the public.