Friday, March 26, 2010

State puts hold on several water-rights applications after story appears in the Kuna Melba News

The Idaho Department of Water Resources has put on hold a number of water-rights applications in an area of the southeast Kuna region until a study can be completed of the area, according to an exclusive story in this week's Kuna Melba News.
Specifically, the department is concerned about a 13-square-mile area in which pending water-rights applications represent 47.74 cubic feet per second of water diversion, or roughly twice the current capacity of the city of Kuna.
“We want to get a little better handle on the groundwater situation down there,” said John Westra, Western Regional Manager of IDWR. “This is more of a regional thing.”
Westra said the move by his department was “routine.”
The department has directed its hydrology section manager to report on a number of concerns, including:
• the sufficiency of cold groundwater supply
• potential injury to existing users and cumulative impact on current water-rights users
• appropriation of groundwater for proposed uses in the public interest.
The Kuna Melba News reported earlier this month on what the city of Kuna was characterizing as an “Arizona water grab” in the region. Of particular concern were a pair of water-rights applications on an Ada County-approved planned community called Vista, which was being proposed by a group of Arizona companies.

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