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SCR136.....................................................by STATE AFFAIRS AQUIFER MANAGEMENT PLAN - Stating findings of the Legislature and requesting the Idaho Water Resource Board to prepare and submit a comprehensive aquifer management plant for the Eastern Snake River Plain for legislative review and approval. 03/31 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 04/03 Rpt prt - to 10th Ord Rls susp - ADOPTED - 33-0-2 AYES -- Andreason, Brandt, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett, Burtenshaw, Cameron, Coiner, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Fulcher, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst, Little, Lodge, Malepeai, Marley, McGee, McKenzie, Pearce, Richardson, Schroeder, Stennett, Sweet, Werk, Williams NAYS -- None Absent and excused -- Gannon, Stegner Floor Sponsor - Davis Title apvd - to House 04/04 House intro - 1st rdg - to 2nd rdg 04/05 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg Rls susp - ADOPTED - voice vote Floor Sponsor - Raybould Title apvd - to Senate 04/05 To enrol 04/06 Rpt enrol - Pres signed - Sp signed 04/07 To Secretary of State
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]] Fifty-eighth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2006 IN THE SENATE SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 136 BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 1 A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 2 STATING LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND REQUESTING THE IDAHO WATER RESOURCE BOARD TO 3 PREPARE AND SUBMIT A COMPREHENSIVE AQUIFER MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE EASTERN 4 SNAKE RIVER PLAIN AQUIFER FOR LEGISLATIVE REVIEW AND APPROVAL. 5 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho: 6 WHEREAS, the extended drought, changes in irrigation practices and ground 7 water pumping have resulted in reduced spring discharges and reach gains from 8 the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer and areas of declining aquifer levels; 9 and 10 WHEREAS, declining aquifer levels have resulted in insufficient water sup- 11 plies to satisfy existing beneficial uses; and 12 WHEREAS, declining aquifer levels have lead to conflicts between holders 13 of water rights diverting from surface and ground water; and 14 WHEREAS, the conflict between water users poses a significant threat to 15 the state's economy; and 16 WHEREAS, the welfare of the people of the state of Idaho is dependent upon 17 the management of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer in accordance with 18 state law; and 19 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature has enacted legislation to create water 20 measurement districts for gathering and reporting of water diversion data; and 21 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature has enacted legislation authorizing the 22 creation of ground water districts for the purpose of implementing mitigation 23 plans; and 24 WHEREAS, the Idaho Department of Water Resources has expanded and created 25 new water districts for water sources hydraulically connected to the Eastern 26 Snake River Plain Aquifer for the purpose of conjunctively administering all 27 surface and ground water rights diverting from the interconnected sources; and 28 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature provided funding to facilitate implementa- 29 tion of water supply projects through the Idaho Department of Commerce and to 30 ground water users for implementation of the Sandy Pipeline Project in 2004; 31 and 32 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature's Natural Resource Interim Committee in 33 2004 and 2005 sought resolution of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer water 34 supply conflicts and has provided support for voluntary mediation between 35 affected parties; and 36 WHEREAS, Section 42-1734, Idaho Code, provides authority to the Idaho 37 Water Resource Board to cooperate in water studies, planning and research; and 38 WHEREAS, the Idaho Water Resource Board prepared an inventory of data and 39 information as part of the Board's comprehensive basin planning study of the 40 Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer and tributary basins entitled the "Resource 41 Inventory Upper Snake River Basin," in 1998, which provides information for 42 the development of a comprehensive aquifer management plan; and 43 WHEREAS, the state of Idaho has taken initial steps to address the Eastern 44 Snake River Plain water supply conflict through funding and development of, 2 1 among other things, a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program; and 2 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature enacted Section 42-620, Idaho Code, in 3 2005, to provide for funding necessary to support and to expand the Eastern 4 Snake River Plain monitoring and data gathering activities of the Idaho 5 Department of Water Resources; and 6 WHEREAS, certain holders of surface and ground water rights have been 7 engaged in good faith negotiations to develop a potential framework for reso- 8 lution of the Eastern Snake River Plain surface/ground water rights conflict; 9 and 10 WHEREAS, the Idaho Legislature is determined to facilitate and encourage a 11 resolution of the surface/ground water rights conflict that respects existing 12 water rights. 13 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second Regular Ses- 14 sion of the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Repre- 15 sentatives concurring therein, that we request that the Idaho Water Resource 16 Board expeditiously pursue, with support from the Idaho Department of Water 17 Resources, development of a comprehensive aquifer management plan for the 18 Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer for submission to and approval by the Idaho 19 Legislature. 20 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Idaho Water Resource Board receive public 21 input regarding the development of goals, objectives and methods for manage- 22 ment of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer from affected water right hold- 23 ers, cities and counties, the general public and relevant state and federal 24 agencies; and 25 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Idaho Water Resource Board is requested to 26 report to the First Regular Session of the Fifty-ninth Idaho Legislature on 27 the status of the development of the comprehensive Eastern Snake River Plain 28 Aquifer management plan. The report should set forth a framework for the plan, 29 including appropriate interim goals and objectives in accordance with state 30 law, a method to fund implementation of the plan and a time schedule for 31 finalization of the plan.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE RS 16310C1 The primary parties who are in dispute over the use of surface and groundwater hydraulically connected to the Snake Plain Aquifer system have been negotiating to settle their differences outside of litigation. These parties are negotiating a framework for that settlement that makes it critical that the State of Idaho Water Resource Board establish public policy with regard to future management of the aquifer system, under state water law. This Senate Concurrent Resolution directs the IWRB to begin that plan of development under their water planning authority, and to report it's progress to the next session of the Idaho Legislature. Adoption of the resolution, and direction to the IWRB is critical to the continued progress to settle the dispute outside of litigation and is in the public interest. FISCAL NOTE There is no fiscal impact anticipated beyond FY2007 appropriated funds. Contact Name: Senator Bart M. Davis Phone: 332-1305 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE SCR 136