Idaho Irrigators `Cutting It Close'

Published online: Aug 15, 2001
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Idaho irrigators are going to come real close to having enough irrigation water for their crops this season.

Despite a lingering drought that has seen irrigators cut back water allocations, most row crops are progressing nicely.

However, two of the largest canal companies in the Magic Valley of southern Idaho have determined they will shut down their canals for one week to conserve water for later in the irrigation season.

The Twin Falls and North Side canal companies will try to get by, with all stockholders missing a turn, in order to save storage water for later in the season for potato harvest and late irrigations on sugarbeets.

A total of 30 Idaho counties have been given drought emergency status, so that water diversions can be made. The latest of these was Jerome County in the Magic Valley, which relies on the Millner Dam diversion for the North Side Canal.

In addition, the Idaho Department of Water Resources is taking a real close look at deep wells within three miles of the Snake River which some believe are lessening spring flows back into the river. This could prevent those with older water rights from obtaining their rightful irrigation water.