TWIN FALLS –– The Idaho Department of Water Resources has sent a curtailment notice to about 70 water users representing approximately 77 ground water rights in the Magic Valley region.
The notice warns water users that IDWR will curtail their water use if an approved mitigation plan does not cover their water rights, according to an IDWR news release.
The curtailment notice affects ground water users whose water rights have a priority date junior to July 13, 1962, and are located within Water Districts 130 or 140. Water shutoffs will begin on or before May 13, 2020, according to the curtailment notice.
The notices are related to a 2011 water delivery call by the Rangen fish hatchery near Hagerman.
In 2018, IDWR approved an Idaho Ground Water Appropriators mitigation plan filed on behalf of certain ground water districts and irrigation districts in the Magic Valley area in response to the Rangen delivery call. A primary component of the approved 2018 mitigation plan was the purchase of the Rangen water rights and fish hatchery facility by IGWA and participating districts.
Ground water users with priority dates junior to July 13, 1962, can avoid curtailment, as long as the owners of those rights are covered by an approved mitigation plan or are members in “good standing” with an IGWA district. To stay in “good standing” with an IGWA district, water users must be current in paying all district assessments, which the districts use to fund their mitigation activities.
IDWR officials encourage junior ground water users receiving curtailment notices to join an IGWA ground water district near them to receive the benefit of the approved mitigation plan and avoid curtailment. Most, but not all, junior ground water users in the region have already joined an IGWA district for mitigation purposes.
“If a ground water user receives a notice of curtailment, that means neither IDWR nor the watermaster has received notice from an IGWA district that an approved mitigation plan covers the user’s water rights, or that they’re a participant in good standing with an IGWA district that has an approved mitigation plan on the Eastern Snake Plain,” said Mat Weaver, deputy director of IDWR.
The curtailment notice warns recipients that IDWR’s watermasters will curtail their ground water rights unless the water users send proof of participation in an IGWA district and mitigation plan to the watermasters of Water Districts 130 or 140.
Ground water rights for single-family domestic and small stockwater uses are exempt from the curtailment order.
For more information, contact IDWR water distribution staff at (208) 287-4800 or (208) 736-3033.