Newsletter September 26, 2021

September 26, 2021

Dear Ground Water Members: 

Whew… 2021 wasn’t a great water year.  It tested the best of you.  Thank you for being so inventive with new ways to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the drops that we did have.  We all need to pray for a great snow pack this winter. 

Mark your calendar for November 3, 2021. Our BUDGET AND ANNUAL MEETING will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Butte County Business Center conference room.  Your attendance would be greatly appreciated. 

Recently our attorney and Chairman attended the Idaho Water Users Association conference.  The following is a summary from what was presented:   

IDWR Director, Gary Spackman, was one of the presenters. During his discussion of the Wood River Basin curtailment he mentioned that he plans to follow the same process in the Big Lost Basin as soon as he receives direction from Judge Wildman. This is a bit concerning because the process he followed in the Wood River Basin is different than what he has done elsewhere, and what we anticipated he would do in the Big Lost.

Historically the Director has not undertaken conjunctive management unless

  • a senior surface water makes a delivery call under the Conjunctive Management Rules, or
  •  a Ground Water Management Area is designated and a Ground Water

 Management Plan is developed.

In the Wood River Basin, he side-stepped those procedures and jumped right into curtailment of groundwater rights in the middle of the summer. This caught a lot of people by surprise, and his decision has been appealed to Judge Wildman.

I spoke with Director Spackman after his presentation and explained that the Big Lost River GWD filed its petition to designate a GWMA with the expectation that it would be followed by a deliberate process to develop a Ground Water Management Plan, and that we do not want to have curtailment sprung on us like what happened in the Wood River Basin. Based on his experience in the Wood River Basin he has the perception that groundwater users in the tributary basins are just delaying mitigation as long as they can. I assured him that is not the case with Big Lost River Ground Water District, and that the Big Lost River Ground Water District has been actively developing management concepts in anticipation of a GWMA being designated.

(Please note that the Board has been working on a “plan’ for years and has submitted it.)

Hope to see you at the Budget and Annual Meeting,

Debbie Broadie,

Office Manager