Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Consider county’s water future

Water seminar to be held at Community Campus on March 7

Express Staff Writer

Trail Creek flows into the Wood River Valley last May, when low snowpacks led to a challenging year for water management. Photo by Roland Lane

   A daylong water seminar at the Community Campus in Hailey on Friday, March 7, will be packed with information on aquifer hydrology, water conservation methods and conjunctive management of groundwater and surface water.
    The seminar will be hosted by the nonprofit Wood River Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and University of Idaho Extension.
    The morning sessions will be for the public to be updated on a U.S. Geological Survey water-flow model study, and will explain why and how water calls will be made and what a groundwater district is and how it functions. Following that, a panel of experts will discuss strategies, mitigation and conservation as tools to address limited water resources. There will be time for questions.
    The afternoon session will be composed of practical, hands-on water-saving workshops in concurrent sessions, with participants choosing agricultural- or residential-based topics.
    The seminar’s schedule will be as follows:
•    9-9:45 a.m.—“Wood River Valley Aquifer and Hydrology” with Jim Barolino, USGS hydrologist. What it is, how it works, what changes are happening and the USGS/Idaho Department of Water Resources groundwater flow model.    
•    9:45-10:30 a.m.—“Idaho Conjunctive Management Rules and Groundwater District Formation” with Tim Luke, IDWR compliance bureau chief.
•    10:30-noon—Panel and questions: What conservation, mitigation or other strategies can we  implement to meet limited water resources and/or senior water right calls?  Panel:  Trish Klahr (moderator), Wendy Pabich (president, Water Futures), Mark Davidson (Trout Unlimited), Gary Beck (large agriculture manager), Kevin Lakey (District 37 water master), Tim Luke (bureau compliance chief, IDWR), Jim Bartolino (USGS hydrologist).
•    Noon to 1 p.m.—Lunch, included in registration fee. Informational tables: irrigation equipment and rebate, city of Hailey, Sawtooth Botanical Garden, rain-barrel harvesting, Idaho Power Co. and trout-friendly program.  
Concurrent sessions (choose one):
•    1-1:50 p.m. “Drought-Tolerant Lawns and Gardens” with Steve Paulsen, restoration ecologist with Conservation Seeding and Restoration Inc., and Patti Lousen, Wood River Land Trust. Ideas, design and “how to” of lawn conversions, pathways and pollinator gardens.
•    2-2:50 “Residential Irrigation Audit” with Kodi Farnsworth. Irrigation design, retrofits and strategies to save 30-70 percent on landscaping water use.
•    1-1:50 p.m. “Precision Circle Agriculture” with Bill Marek. The future of precision irrigation systems for pivots.
•    2-2:50 p.m. “Irrigation Efficiency Programs.” Idaho Power staff will talk about new programs and data regarding water and energy savings.
•    3-3:50 “Residential and Agricultural Pesticide Use” with Don Morishita, University of Idaho’s Kimberly Research & Extension Center (one credit available).

    Patti Lousen, project coordinator for the Wood River Land Trust, said the seminar evolved due to concerns that the community needs to explore collaborative ways to deal with conjunctive management, that water needs to be kept in the river for wildlife habitat and recreation, and that part of the valley’s limited water could be managed by the private market, which could have economic impacts on the whole community.
    “Since this is a new era of water administration, there is a lot of misinformation, lack of information and confusion,” Lousen said.
    The seminar costs $15 for those who register by Friday, Feb. 28, and $20 afterward. Cost includes coffee and lunch. Scholarships are available. Call 788-5585 to register.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.