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County issues disaster declaration for town without water

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho – County officials approved a disaster declaration for a western Idaho town so it can apply for emergency state funding after losing its water wells.

The Lewiston Tribune reported the water wells in the town of White Bird stopped working late last month, causing Idaho County commissioners to approve the declaration on Tuesday.

Town officials said a cause has not been determined for why the wells suddenly quit functioning. Officials said seismic activity may have contributed to the loss.

The town declared a state of emergency, and it began providing water resources to residents at what officials say is an unsustainable cost.

The town has applied for emergency funding from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development agency has committed to helping the town.