Friday, August 8, 2008

Valley water vs. growth

Kudos for the Idaho Mountain Express and Greg Stahl for the article written in the August 1, 2008, edition regarding the water use here in the Wood River Valley. Finally someone has the courage to address this critical issue where candor has been lacking by town and county administrators both now and in the past regarding water resources necessary to sustain projected growth.

Specifically sub-surface water resources here are not infinite and may even be insufficient at this time to support increased water demands on the aquifer below us. There is likely a tipping point for the aquifer where water drainage from there exceeds natural or hydraulic pressure replenishment therefore eventually depleting the entire Valley sub-surface water resources.

The aquifer below us may already be at that tipping point or at least nearing it without even factoring in the large number of homes already approved for construction and others planned for the Valley in future developments. There is also global warming uncertainty to consider which may eventually have an adverse impact on the valley by decreasing precipitation in the form of snow and rain feeding our river, streams and canals.

The result of this double jeopardy would be this valley eventually being devoid of conditions suitable for living here let alone even visiting here for recreation, conferences and festivals.

What does the Idaho Department of Water Resources say about all of this? Have they been consulted on all matters relating to construction impacting on water usage here in the Valley? Valley residents deserve no less.

Erwin Kett


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