East Ada County Hydrologic Project
Irrigation well in East Ada County
The East Ada County Hydrologic Project was initiated to help provide a scientific foundation for the management of aquifers underlying the Treasure Valley. In 2008, the Idaho legislature approved House Bill 428 and House Bill 644 establishing the Statewide Comprehensive Aquifer Planning and Management Program (42-1779) and the Aquifer Planning and Management Fund (42-1780). This legislation authorized the Idaho Water Resource Board to begin comprehensive aquifer management planning (CAMP) in the Treasure Valley. Technical studies will be undertaken in East Ada County to assist with Treasure Valley CAMP efforts.
The Aquifer Planning and Management Program is designed to provide the Idaho Water Resource Board and the Idaho Department of Water Resources with the necessary information to develop plans for managing ground and surface water resources into the future. The program has two phases:
This program will culminate with the development of long-range plans for conjunctively managing the water resources of each basin, integrating hydrologic realities with social needs. The management plans will be designed to address water supply and demand issues looking out 50 years into the future. The program is intended to investigate strategies and develop plans which will lead to sustainable water supplies and optimum use of water resources.
The East Ada County Hydrologic Project was initiated in 2008 as part of the Treasure Valley CAMP and is scheduled to take four years to complete. A water budget will be developed and the aquifer will be characterized to assist the development of water management plans and water demand projections for the next 50 years. Data related to recharge mechanisms, groundwater flow, discharge rates, geology, and aquifer characteristics will be evaluated to assist with these tasks, and the information and findings will be compiled in a final report.
The East Ada project was also initiated because of the proposed residential developments along the I-84 corridor to Mountain Home and the associated water right applications. One of the goals of the CAMP program is to avoid conflicts similar to those experienced in the Eastern Snake River Plain. Proposals for large development along the Ada/Elmore county line have created concerns about the availability of groundwater resources in the area and the potential impacts to existing water users.
The purpose of the East Ada County Hydrologic Project is to develop a better understanding of the water resources in the study area. Hydrogeologic characterization will assist in providing a scientific foundation for the management of aquifers underlying this portion of the Treasure Valley. This investigation is being conducted as a technical component of the Treasure Valley CAMP. The general objective is to develop a water budget for the study area that can be used to create a 50-year water management plan.
Hydrogeologic characterization will also assist with the administration of water resources in areas of proposed land use change. The study will result in the development of a comprehensive technical report of the groundwater systems in East Ada County to be used in water management decisions of the area.
Water Right Orders & Applications
Orchard Ranch LLC