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Idaho Water Users Association
IWUA Hails Efforts By Idaho Senators Crapo, Risch
To Push President For Relief from Burdensome Pesticide Regulations
Idaho’s largest water user group is applauding the state’s two U.S. Senators for their efforts to get President Obama to support relief from the overregulation of pesticide users, including mosquito control authorities, so current and future threats to public health, including the Zika virus, can be addressed.
A filibuster by Senate Democrats has blocked legislation that would provide $1.1 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus. As the legislative debate continues Crapo and Risch continue to advocate for inclusion of their bill, S. 1500, the Sensible Environmental Protection Act.
The bill is supported by a group of bipartisan Senators and would remove redundant, time-consuming and costly permitting requirements on the nation’s pest control professionals as well as farmers, ranchers, municipalities, water users and forest managers.
“The S. 1500 legislation is crucial for Idaho water users continued economic viability because it removes an abusive layer of pointless regulation from their operations. We are grateful to our two senators for their continued efforts to get it through the legislative process and on to the President’s desk for signature," noted Norm Semanko, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Idaho Water Users Association.
Removing that unnecessary layer of time-consuming bureaucratic work is especially important given the focus on efforts to combat the spread of Zika because it reduces regulatory burdens on pesticide applicators and frees up staff time and budgets so we can focus on mosquito eradication instead of needless paperwork, the IWUA official added
President Obama opposes the regulatory relief provided by Crapo and Risch’s bill. However, officials from his own administration at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that aerial insecticide applications are the “most important tool” for combating the spread of Zika on the U.S. mainland and territories.
Senator Crapo, along with members of the Senate and House, recently sent a letter to the President asking him to heed the recommendations of his administration’s officials and reconsider his opposition to S.1500. (Read the Letter)
"Many Idaho businesses, communities, and irrigation districts are in need of support when it comes to focusing on mosquito eradication.” said Senator Risch. “This legislation would make it so that all involved could focus their resources and energy on combating Zika, not navigating red tape and bureaucracy.”
Six Awarded $2.17 Million in WaterSMART Grants
Six Idaho organizations were among 53 projects in 11 states that received a total of $25.6 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, the Bureau of Reclamation has announced. In addition to the new grants, Reclamation will provide $2.1 million to support previously selected WaterSMART projects.
The six received a total of $2,170,134 in grant funding to be used in projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict.
Idaho Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company, Canal Lining Water Efficiency Project Reclamation Funding: $176,308 Total Project Cost: $359,812
The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company in southeastern Idaho will line 1.4 miles of open canal currently experiencing significant seepage losses with a geomembrane liner. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 23,007 acre-feet, which will help offset groundwater use. The project will help the Company to comply with an agreement between the Idaho Ground Water Users Association and the Surface Water Coalition to reduce groundwater diversions of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.
Bingham Ground Water District, Irrigation Flow Measurement Project Reclamation Funding: $992,430 Total Project Cost: $2,205,399
Bingham Ground Water District in southeastern Idaho will partner with Aberdeen American Falls Ground Water District to install advanced water flow measurement devices on 400 groundwater wells located within the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. Installation of these meters will increase flow measurement accuracy and is expected to result in water savings of 16,173 acre-feet annually through reduced groundwater pumping. The conserved water will remain in the aquifer and will help the District comply with an agreement between the Idaho Ground Water Users Association and the Surface Water Coalition to reduce groundwater diversions of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.
Boise Project Board of Control, New York Canal Lining Reclamation Funding: $108,488 Total Project Cost: $216,976
The Boise Project Board of Control in Idaho will replace 300 linear feet of existing concrete and asphalt lining along the New York Canal with a multi-layer, geocomposite membrane and concrete cap. The project will reduce seepage, resulting in expected annual water savings of 544 acre-feet, which will be made available to Board of Control users to help alleviate ongoing shortages.
Bonneville-Jefferson Ground Water District, Irrigation Flow Measurement Project Reclamation Funding: $296,454 Total Project Cost: $658,786
The Bonneville-Jefferson Ground Water District in southeastern Idaho will install advanced water flow measurement devices for 120 groundwater wells that are owned or operated by individuals within the District. The project is expected to conserve 9,153 acre-feet of water annually by increasing flow measurement accuracy and better documenting groundwater withdrawals, helping the District comply with an agreement between the Idaho Ground Water Users Association and the Surface Water Coalition to reduce groundwater diversions of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.
Duck Valley Indian Reservation, Tribal Water Conservation and Management Improvement Project Reclamation Funding: $300,000 Total Project Cost: $787,751
The Water Resource Board of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in southwestern Idaho will line approximately 3.5 miles of the River Canal with geocomposite geotextile. In addition, the Board will install three new headgate structures at the head of the West Main Canal, River Canal, and Thacker Canal, equipping each structure with solar-powered Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems. The project will allow the Board to reduce tail end spills and reduce canal seepage losses. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 2,000 acre-feet, which will be made available to Duck Valley users.
Jefferson Clark Ground Water District, Irrigation Flow Measurement Project Reclamation Funding: $296,454 Total Project Cost: $658,786
The Jefferson Clark Ground Water District in southeastern Idaho will install advanced flow meters on 120 groundwater wells located within the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. The project is expected to conserve 6,912 acre-feet of water annually by increasing flow measurement accuracy and better documenting groundwater withdrawals, helping the District comply with an agreement between the Idaho Ground Water Users Association and the Surface Water Coalition to reduce groundwater diversions of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer
IWUA is organized to promote, aid and assist the development, control, conservation, preservation and utilization of the water resources of the State of Idaho and to cooperate with similar organizations in other states. IWUA represents irrigation water users, municipalities, hydropower, aquaculture, agri-businesses and businesses interested in the perpetuation of wise water use in Idaho and our nation. The Idaho Water Users Association consists of approximately 300 irrigation districts and canal companies, agri-businesses, public water supply organizations, professional firms and individuals from around the state that manage water supplies for more than 2 million acres of irrigated Idaho farmland.