When deciding whether to issue new water rights, the Idaho Department of Water Resources considers whether it is in the “local public interest” (LPI) to do so. Theoretically, the LPI is a way for the IDWR to make sure it takes local values into consideration when it comes to proposed new water uses. It’s also an important way for local governments, communities and citizens to have a say in how water is used.
Interestingly, Blaine County is the only county in Idaho with a formal “local public interest water policy.” Originally adopted in 1998, Blaine County is revising its LPI water policy for the first time, and your input is welcome!
By participating in a public workshop sponsored by the Blaine County Commission, we as a conservation community can speak up for our water interests. By defining our local public interest, we not only express our principles in a positive collaborative process, but we also provide a basis for Blaine County’s interests in any water right application reviewed by IDWR.
Blaine County wants to hear your voice regarding our precious water resources. Join ICL and others at the public workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 13. To prepare for the workshop, read the current policy and think about what you like and what you would change.