ABERDEEN, Idaho-Growers with Southeast Idaho's Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Co. will soon exhaust their share of natural flows in the Upper Snake River about a month ahead of normal, and will then have just 48 percent of their typical reservoir storage.
To help his 400 water users covering 62,000 acres get the most of a meager water supply and finish irrigating high-value crops this season, the company's general manager, Steve Howser, has devised a multi-faceted approach he said will require members to sacrifice and cooperate.
He aims to buy an extra two or three weeks of irrigation time, but unseasonably hot weather has added to his challenges.
"Over the last couple of days we set high temperature records that were 20 degrees above normal, which is not helping," Howser said.
He's asked Power and Bingham county commissioners to request drought emergency declarations, enabling growers to expedite emergency water rights transfers.
A few of his growers hope to use well water to finish some fields that would normally be irrigated with surface water. Howser plans to offer company resources to defray their added pumping costs, on a case-by-case basis.
SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press