The 2008 Legislature approved House Bill 428 and House Bill 644 establishing the Statewide Comprehensive Aquifer Planning and Management Program (Idaho Code § 42-1779) and the Aquifer Planning and Management Fund (Idaho Code § 42-1780). This legislation authorizes characterization and planning efforts for ten different basins in the next 10 years.
The Aquifer Planning and Management Program is designed to provide the Idaho Water Resource Board and the Idaho Department of Water Resources with the necessary information to develop plans for managing ground and surface water resources into the future. The program has two phases:
- A technical component to characterize the surface water and groundwater resources of each basin, and
- A planning component that will integrate the technical knowledge with an assessment of current and projected future water uses and constraints
This program will culminate with the development of long-range plans for conjunctively managing the water resources of each basin which integrates hydrologic realities with the social needs.
The water management plans will be designed to address water supply and demand issues looking out 50 years into the future . The program is intended to investigate strategies and develop plans which will lead to sustainable water supplies and optimum use of the water resources.