Official Government Website

About IDWR

Organization

The Idaho Department of Water Resources’ director is appointed by the Governor, and the agency is divided into bureaus, sections, or teams organized around specific areas of responsibility.

Director: Gary Spackman

Planning and Projects Bureau: Water Projects Section

Water Allocation Bureau: Adjudication Section, Water Rights Section

Water Compliance Bureau: Floodplain Management Unit, Groundwater Protection Section, Stream Channel Protection Unit, Water Distribution Section

Hydrology Section

Geospatial Technology Section

Safety of Dams Program

Regional Offices: Eastern (Idaho Falls), Northern (Coeur d’Alene), Southern (Twin Falls), Western (Boise)

Field Office: Salmon

History

IDWR traces its history to 1895 when it was created as the Office of State Engineer.

1985 state engineer seal

The Idaho Legislature creates the Office of State Engineer. The following individuals served in the post of Idaho State Engineer:

Frederick J. Mills — Pocatello, 1895-1899
D. W. Ross — Boise, 1899-1903
Wayne Darlington — Mackay, 1903-1904
Jas. Stephenson, Jr. — Boise, 1904-1908
D. G. Martin — Idaho Falls, 1908-1910
A. E. Robinson — Wallace, 1911-1912
Frank King — Boise, 1913-1914
J. H. Smith — Pocatello, 1915-1916
Fred A. Wilkie — Ashton, 1917-1918

1919 seal

The agency name is changed to the Department of Reclamation. The agency leader was known as the Commissioner of Reclamation. The following individuals served as Commissioner of Reclamation.

W. G. Swendsen — Boise, 1919-1925
George N. Carter — Jerome, 1925-1930
R. W. Faris — Boise, 1931-1938
James Spofford — Mountain Home, 1939-1940
E. V. Berg — Idaho Falls, 1941-1942

1943 Idaho Depr of Reclamation logo

The title of the agency’s leader is changed from Commissioner to the State Reclamation Engineer. The following individuals served as State Reclamation Engineer.

James Spofford — Mountain Home, 1943-1944
Mark R. Kulp — Moscow, 1944-1958
George N. Carter — Boise, 1958-1963
Carl Tappan — Boise, 1963-1966
R. Keith Higginson — Boise, 1967-1970

1965 IWRB logo

Following voter approval of a constitutional amendment in 1964, the Idaho Water Resource Board was established by the Legislature to perform state water planning. The Water Resource Board’s eight members are appointed by the governor. A new logo was developed for the Idaho Water Resource Board. It remains their logo today.

James Spofford — Mountain Home, 1943-1944
Mark R. Kulp — Moscow, 1944-1958
George N. Carter — Boise, 1958-1963
Carl Tappan — Boise, 1963-1966
R. Keith Higginson — Boise, 1967-1970

The agency and its leader go through another name change. This time, the agency becomes the Department of Water Administration and its leader is called the Director. Only one individual served as Department director during this period.

R. Keith Higginson — Boise, 1971-1974

1974 Idaho Department of Water Resources logo

The Department of Water Administration and the Idaho Water Resource Board are combined to form a new agency called the Idaho Department of Water Resources. The following individuals have served as IDWR Director.

R. Keith Higginson — Boise, 1974-1977
C. Stephen Allred — Boise, 1977-1981
A. Kenneth Dunn — Boise, 1981-1987
R. Keith Higginson — Boise, 1987-1995
Karl J. Dreher — Denver, 1995-2006
David R. Tuthill, Jr. — Boise, 2007-2009
Gary Spackman — Boise, 2012-Present

The Idaho Office of Energy is merged into the Department of Water Resources as an operational division titled the Division of Energy.

idwr logo

A new logo was developed for the Department of Water Resources. It remained the agency’s logo for over 30 years. 

The Division of Energy is moved from the Idaho Department of Water Resources and executive orders No. 2007-11 & No. 2007-15 establish the Idaho Office of Energy Resources within the Office of the Governor.

IDWR designed a new logo and launched a new website. 

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