U.S. Water News Online
MALTA, Idaho -- Farmers and ranchers in southern Idaho's
Raft River valley have voted to create a groundwater district.
The decision comes as farmers grow increasingly concerned about
having a say in water issues as the state moves forward in its water
rights adjudication process.
Seventy people voted in the election, and only one vote opposed
creation of the Raft River Groundwater District.
Farmer Mike Spencer said the valley needs to have the cohesive
bargaining power of an association when it comes to water issues.
"You are not alone if you join the group," Spencer told the South
Idaho Press for a story. "But if you opt out, you are on your own."
One advantage of organizing a district is that it would be
authorized to recharge the aquifer. By contrast, flood control
districts are authorized to put water back in the ground only when
floodwater exists, which is not common in the valley.
Farmers voted on the issue Feb. 6.
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