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Key Idaho water legislation heads to governor

Key Idaho water legislation heads to governor
Irrigation pivot waters some alfalfa west of Scottsbluff. KNEB/RRN Guzman

Legislation that supporters say is critical to preserving a historic water agreement between two sets of water users and is intended to prevent declines in a giant Idaho aquifer relied on by farmers and cities is heading to the governor.

The House voted 67-0 on Monday to approve the bill to give the state additional authority to cut off water to groundwater pumpers ignoring the agreement.

The 2015 agreement is intended to stabilize the level of the Lake Erie-sized Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer so that surface users and groundwater pumpers have a reliable source of water.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke after the vote said the legislation is important because the state has invested so much and all the participants in the agreement must carry their fair share.

The bill passed the Senate earlier this month 33-1.

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