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Raft River Basin

Raft River Basin Hydrologic Investigation

The Raft River Basin is located primarily in Cassia County of south-central Idaho, with extensions to the east into Oneida and Power Counties. Much of the basin was designated a Critical Groundwater Management Area, pursuant to Idaho Code § 42, Chapter 233a and 233b, on July 23, 1963 due to concerns regarding decreased aquifer water levels and flow in the Raft River.

In 2019, the Idaho Geologic Survey (IGS) in partnership with IDWR and the Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB), embarked on a four-year hydrologic characterization of the Raft River Basin. The monitoring infrastructure in the basin will be augmented with new wells and stream gages. The study will produce water-budget and hydrogeologic framework reports which, along with current and future data and reports, will be served from this webpage. Water users and resource managers will be able to use the information for water-supply planning and management. The framework and water budget will also provide a foundation for future groundwater model development.

Funding for the project is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) grant, and by the IWRB through a special appropriation from the Idaho Legislature for statewide aquifer stabilization and sustainability studies (see Senate Concurrent Resolution 137). DOE participation in this project was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality for alleged violations of the requirements of the Hazardous Waste Management Act.

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