Earlier this week, ICL defended the Big Wood River against a water right application that threatens to reduce flows in the already stressed river.

What’s the proposal? A private business seeks to divert 154 cubic feet/second of the high flows the river needs to sustain itself, and then use those flows to create private credits that people could buy in order to continue the status quo of water use in an overallocated water basin. Who can buy the credits? Apparently, whoever is willing to pay the most money.

ICL believes this application stands to harm the river and will result in an unfair distribution of water among only those wealthy enough to pay for it. Not to mention, it perpetuates the valley’s water scarcity problems as opposed to helping the greater public move toward water security.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources conducted this week’s contested case hearing about the application, and a decision will likely be issued by late summer. The Magic Valley’s KMVT covered a very important aspect of the hearing: a public meeting Tuesday evening. Learn more about the public meeting from KMVT.