The Treasure Valley Water Users Association has been criticized by some for opposing the state of Idaho’s water accounting theory and legal position that counts water released for flood control purposes as water that has been put to use.
Under the state’s theory and legal claims, if 1 million acre-feet of water was released for flood control (the amount of water released this year surpasses this), then the 986,000 acre-feet of storage water in our three reservoirs is no longer available for us to use for irrigation because flood control releases used up all of this storage water. That’s the absurdity of this whole issue. And it’s the state (not the federal government) that is unnecessarily taking this position against those who use irrigation water regardless of whether you are an urban or rural water user.
Treasure Valley water users seek only what was agreed to over 60 years through the signing of the Reservoir Operating Plan, which says flood prevention will not adversely impact Treasure Valley storage rights and water will be stored during the flood control season for irrigation and other beneficial uses in accordance with the plan. The big questions are, “Why is the state of Idaho blatantly ignoring this plan, and who is benefiting?”
Roger Batt, executive director, Treasure Valley Water Users Association