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ICL Protects Idaho's Waters

How ICL works to protect Idaho's waters.

Water Quality—A Hot Topic

ICL recently contributed to a precedent setting win for the Boise River, the result of which is a cleaner Boise River and a path for cleaner rivers nationwide!

The Clean Water Act ensures that cities and many industries have a responsibility to clean up water once its been used; however, the agricultural industry is exempt from most CWA protections.

View of Boise River and city
A clean river is in the public interest. Photo courtesy SOVRN.

That means phosphorous-laden water running off irrigated agricultural fields all across southern Idaho enters our lakes and rivers unmitigated, depriving them of oxygen and resulting in dead zones where fish and plants can’t survive. Enter: the Dixie Drain Phosphorous Offset Project. 

The Dixie Drain is a one-of-kind project in which the EPA has given its seal of approval for the City of Boise to remove phosphorous from an agricultural drain as opposed to only removing phosphorous at its in-town wastewater treatment plants. This is phosphorous that would otherwise flow into the Boise River and then onto the Snake. But the EPA was not the final arbiter of success for this project; the City also needed a water right from the State, and securing that water right turned into a battle.

The City’s water right application was protested by a wanna-be competitor who complained that, among other things, it was not in the public interest to allow this use of water. So, ICL stepped up.

ICL intervened in the protest in order to say, on the record, that a cleaner Boise River was most definitely in the public interest. And the State agreed.

Engaging in water right protests is just one of the many ways ICL speaks up for clean, healthy rivers. To learn more about our water work, click on a link below!

More Ways ICL Protects Water

We are working hard to protect Idaho waters throughout the state.

What You Can Do

Become a member today and protect the Idaho you love!
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