Easter Snake Plain Aquifer CAMP logo

Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer (ESPA) Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan (CAMP)

The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer

The Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA) is a key element of southern Idaho's economy and covers approximately 10,800 square miles of Idaho. The ESPA region produces approximately 21 percent of all goods and services with in the State of Idaho resulting in an estimated value of $10B annually. Water is the critical element for this productivity.

For a variety of reasons, groundwater levels in parts of the ESPA declined, leading to a cumulative decrease in aquifer storage, decreased spring flows and changing Snake River flows that resulted in insufficient water supplies to satisfy existing beneficial uses. The Idaho Water Resource Board, at the request of the Idaho State Legislature, prepared and submitted a Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan to address the water supply-and-demand imbalance.

The Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan
for the ESPA

In 2009, the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan (Plan) was passed into law by the Idaho State Legislature. The Plan establishes a long-term program for managing water supply and demand in the ESPA through a phased approach to implementation, together with an adaptive management process to allow for adjustments or changes in management techniques as implementation proceeds. Due to the inherent complexities in the management and responses of the river and aquifer to water budget changes, a very deliberate choice was made to incrementally implement the various mechanisms proposed in the Plan.

The goal of the Plan is to "Sustain the economic viability and social and environmental health of the Eastern Snake Plain by adaptively managing a balance between water use and supplies."

The objectives of the Plan are to:

  1. Increase predictability for water users by managing for a reliable supply
  2. Create alternatives to administrative water use curtailment
  3. Manage overall demand for water within the Eastern Snake Plain
  4. Increase recharge to the aquifer
  5. Reduce withdrawals from the aquifer

Immediate implementation of the Plan is necessary to achieve the stated goal and objectives.


Map of the ESPA area
(click to enlarge - 4615KB JPG)

ESPA Committees:

Legislation, Documents & Presentations:

Related Technical Information:


Questions or Comments?