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Key Idaho water legislation heads to Senate for amendments

The bill has passed out of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee.
Credit: Idaho Department of Water Resources
An injection well for the Eastern Snake River Aquifer.

BOISE, Idaho — 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 has passed out of a Senate committee.

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee voted unanimously Monday to send to bill to the Senate for possible amendments.

A similar bill failed on a tie vote last week, but the committee voted to reconsider the bill on Monday after several technical changes.

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.

The legislation would give the state additional authority to cut off water to groundwater pumpers ignoring the agreement.

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