Published online: Aug 16, 2013 Irrigation Sean Ellis, Capital Press
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BURLEY, Idaho-In an effort to maintain the viability of farms in a section of its service area, A&B Irrigation District is working on a $7 million plan that will replace groundwater with surface water.
The district, which delivers water to about 82,000 acres of farmland, gets its water from both surface and groundwater sources.
But many of the district's hundreds of wells are drying up and some customers in the western portion of the district who get their water from those wells face losing their farms in three or four years unless something is done, said A&B Manager Dan Temple.
"We have 1,000-foot-deep wells in the western portion where we still can't find water," he said. "It's just not there."
In conjunction with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service and Bureau of Reclamation, the district is planning to build a pumping station that would replace groundwater with surface water for that area.
Wheat, barley, sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa, corn and beans are grown there.