Among the major items proposed in Gov. Butch Otter’s budget for next year: A $15 million, one-time allocation to the state Department of Water Resources for water supply improvement projects around the state. “Being from southern Idaho, I’m encouraged by putting the money back into the water infrastructure, so that we can prepare to recharge,” said an approving House Speaker Scott Bedke.
The proposal includes: $4 million to acquire water rights and provide a reliable water supply to Mountain Home Air Force Base; $500,000 for studies of the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer to support the establishment of municipal water rights for long-term needs; $2 million to initiate environmental compliance and land exchange analysis for the Galloway Project; $1.5 million for completing the Arrowrock enlargement and flood control feasibility study; $2.5 million to begin the Island Park Reservoir Enlargement Project; $500,000 to develop the computer infrastructure for the operation of the Water Supply Bank; and $4 million to develop additional managed recharge capacity.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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