Clean water is an invaluable resource. Water quality monitoring costs us 30 cents a year—a negligible expense for ensuring that our priceless streams, rivers and lakes are not polluted. However, two years ago, funding for clean water monitoring was gutted in Idaho. This is problematic not only because our water is no longer safeguarded from pollution, but also because cleaning up water once it is polluted can be very expensive for taxpayers. Forgoing monitoring is certainly not saving us any money in the long run.
Without water-quality monitoring, we are also missing important data necessary for issuing and amending water permits. This creates a lot of uncertainties for existing and future water-permit holders such as businesses and municipalities. For the health of our communities, economy and natural resources, the state of Idaho must restore funding for water quality monitoring.