State asks Supreme Court to keep water running
(Note: Water is for fighting, and GangGreed wants to Control It ALL. Water doesn't leave the planet; it is used and stays right here. All the "Chicken Littles" that say we're "running out of water" do so merely to incite fear and paralyze rational thought.)
August 19, 2006
By Michelle Dunlop email@example.com or 208-735-3237
Times-News natural resources writer
P.O. Box 548
Twin Falls, Idaho 83303
800-658-3883 or 208-733-0931
To submit a Letter to the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org (300-word limit)
Boise, Idaho - Roughly 55,000 acres of irrigated farmland, along with industries and several municipalities, may have the water turned off unless the Idaho Supreme Court stays a recent water ruling.
On Thursday, the Idaho Department of Water Resources asked the state’s highest court to block a district court judge’s ruling from taking effect.
The ruling voided part of Idaho’s water law and put at risk thousands of acres of land irrigated through groundwater pumping.
If the lower court’s ruling is not stopped, Water Resources Director Karl Dreher will be forced to curtail pumping for possibly thousands of users across southern Idaho.
In June, 5th District Court Judge Barry Wood declared unconstitutional the state’s rules of conjunctive management.
Water Resources’ attorney Phillip Rassier labeled Wood’s decision a “watershed ruling” in his filings with the Idaho Supreme Court.
As such, Rassier argued, Wood’s ruling should not be implemented until the Idaho Supreme Court can review it.
The filing is the latest in a long dispute between surface water users, like canal companies and groundwater pumpers.
Wood’s ruling gives weight to Idaho’s prior appropriation doctrine.
The tenet gives senior right holders -- typically surface users -- the first right to water when it runs short.
Many Magic Valley canal companies have complained of water shortages for several years.
Earlier this month, Wood refused to stay his own ruling.
Instead, Wood noted that Dreher seemed “bent” on developing a new set of rules for managing water in the state rather than relying on established law and history.
Should the Idaho Supreme Court follow in Wood’s footsteps, Rassier wrote, then Dreher “may have no choice but to order the immediate curtailment of groundwater use by commercial, municipal uses and groundwater irrigation for about 55,000 acres of land.”
Copyright 2006, The Times-News.