Drought Leads to Curtailment of Groundwater Rights in Wood River Valley

As of July 1, approximately 140 entities with more than 300 junior groundwater rights in the lower Wood River Valley must follow a curtailment order issued by the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

Gary Spackman, director of the IDWR, issued the curtailment order, which read, in part, the “director concludes that consumptive groundwater pumping in the Bellevue Triangle for purposes other than domestic and stock watering uses … should be curtailed as soon as possible in order to protect senior surface water rights diverting from Silver Creek and the Little Wood River.”

The order also stated, “Because of drought conditions in the Big Wood Basin area, water supplies in Silver Creek and its tributaries may not be adequate to meet the needs of senior surface water users.”

Idaho code gives an IDWR director authority to take action to protect senior surface water users. The curtailment order took effect on July 1.


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