The Idaho Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited water ruling, and it reversed the lower court, which had declared unconstitutional Idaho’s rules for “conjunctive management” of surface and groundwater. Instead, the high court upheld those rules, plus settled various related questions. “The resolution of those substantive principles is going to be very helpful, because now we know what the governing law is,” said Clive Strong, chief of the Natural Resources Division for the Idaho Attorney General’s office.
The Supreme Court was unanimous in its ruling, so reconsideration is unlikely. “The state won in a big way,” Strong said, adding, “I would say that the people that won are the citizens of Idaho, because it’s provided some well-established principles of law that will now govern how we administer surface and groundwater rights.”