Water could be shut off to some eastern Idaho irrigators

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources has issued an order potentially cutting off water to some groundwater pumpers.

Gary Spackman issued the order Thursday that involves some 85 pumpers who are not participating in a mitigation plan or an agreement to prevent declines in a giant Idaho aquifer.

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

But some groundwater pumpers are ignoring the agreement and therefore not covered in the mitigation plan.

When the aquifer level drops because of groundwater pumpers, springs used by surface water users dry up. That means senior water rights holders aren't getting their fair share of water.

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