May, 2019

Good day!   It’s been a l-o-n-g winter, the daffodils look mighty good right now! 

Your Board has been meeting monthly all winter and have resolved many issues.  They would like to advise you of the following information and ask for your involvement and approval on:

***The “Groundwater, Management and Mitigation Plan” is in final draft.    The Board wants feedback from the members.  Due to the length of the Plan, it is not cost effective to mail a copy to each member.  Therefore, please come to the BIC Center and pick up your copy.  If the office is not open, there will be copies at the 4-H / Extension office in the front office.   

***To accommodate summer time schedules, the regular Ground Water Board meetings will be on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.  All meetings are at the BIC conference room.  Feel free to call prior to the meeting to verify.

***On top of normal business, the Ground Water District has received the following from attorney T.J. Budge, Esq.  of Racine Olson:

Last month IDWR issued a curtailment order in the Surface Water Coalition (SWC) delivery call case. The Department projected, based on the Third Methodology Order issued previously in that case, that Twin Falls Canal Company (TFCC) will suffer a water supply shortage of 20,900 acre-feet in 2019. This resulted in a curtailment date of August 25, 1991, which pulls in all enlargement rights. The IGWA-SWC Settlement Agreement covers IGWA’s share of the mitigation obligation to TFCC but does not cover A&B Irrigation District’s share (A&B has 2,063 enlargement acres).

The Department determined that A&B’s share of the 20,900 acre-foot mitigation obligation is 2,121 acre-feet. A&B has implemented 3,573 acres of conversions which covers its obligation in full. Notwithstanding, A&B has filed the attached petition for reconsideration with the Department, making two arguments. First, A&B disagrees with how the Department calculated its 2,121 acre-foot share of the mitigation obligation. Second, A&B argues that the Department wrongly limited the curtailment area to the Rule 50 boundary. Rule 50 of the Conjunctive Management Rules defines the boundary of the ESPA based on a 1992 USGS report. A&B argues that the Department should instead use the ESPA Model boundary.

 This could be very significant for your District because the Rule 50 boundary excludes most of the Big Lost Basin whereas the ESPA Model boundary picks up the Big Lost Basin. Attached is a map showing both boundaries. If the Department were to apply the ESPA Model boundary to the Big Lost Basin, your members would then be subject to curtailment under the SWC delivery call. In light of this I assume your District will want to oppose A&B’s petition for reconsideration and advocate that the Department continue to use the Rule 50 boundary instead of the Model boundary.

To read the entire document, go to the Idaho Department of Water Resources web page, and look for DOCKET NO. CM-DC-2010-001

The Big Lost River Ground Water District will be filing a protest/objection to this filing on behalf of our members.

Your encouragement to the ground water users who opted out of the District to join at this time would be not only beneficial to them, but also to the entire District.  Legal issues are coming to Basin #34, which brings costly fees to fight them.  Defending our water rights as a group effort means more power and less $ for each member. 

Feel free to show the above notice of to others who are not members.

Have a safe and productive year!!

Moj Broadie, Chairman

Big Lost River Ground Water District


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