Pumpers Fearful of Vandalism

Published online: Aug 17, 2004
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While all eyes are turned to eastern Idaho canal irrigators struggling to get through another season of drought to bring crops to harvest, pumpers are concerned about vandalism.

Another set of pumps on deep wells in the American Falls, ID, area have been vandalized, put out of service by the use of silicon.

Power County sheriff's office investigators are still looking into the matter, but the system was put entirely out of business and developing crops have been set back by the action.

The growers involved are not ready to call the incident an "environmentalist-related" attack, but have their suspicions.

This is the second similar incident in the area in a year to cause significant property damage.

Growers say that if the action has been taken by  upset downstream water users or even "greenies" there is no need for such scare tactics. Water tables in the area haven't dropped at all. The water table level in one grower's well has dropped only six inches. A neighboring domestic well increased five feet.

Most irrigators in the American Falls/Aberdeen areas think they can get through to harvest without any problems but don't want costly vandalism attacks ripping into their crops' potential yields.