December 09, 2020

Idaho Delegation Welcomes Boise River Basin Feasibility Report

Washington, D.C.--Today, the Idaho Delegation praised the Bureau of Reclamation’s final Boise River Basin Feasibility Report, which addresses potential increases to water storage capacity in the Boise River System needed to accommodate the Treasure Valley’s rapid growth.

The Secretary of the Interior determined the proposed plan to raise the dam crest of Anderson Ranch Dam six feet for an additional 29,000 acre-feet of storage capacity meets the requirements of Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN).  Next, Congress must authorize the plan.

“Secretary Bernhardt and the Trump Administration’s determination under the Boise River Basin Feasibility Report takes into consideration the varying needs of Idahoans in southwest Idaho,” Crapo said.  “Ensuring residents have adequate water supply for consumption, irrigation, power generation and other purposes, while also enhancing efforts to address environmental needs, involves a collaborative process that takes into account all relevant sides.  Collaborative decision-making practices help deliver sustainable, long-term positive results for all stakeholders involved.”

“This determination for the Boise River Basin has been long in the making and I thank Secretary Bernhardt for his work completing this report,” said Risch.  “Increasing water storage capacity at Anderson Ranch Dam is a critical component of the long-term economic and growth success of the Treasure Valley, and I look forward to continue working to secure this for Idaho’s future.”

“I’m pleased to see this important project advancing as we all know the need for increased water storage in Idaho,” said Simpson.  “I thank Secretary Bernhardt for his work on the report, and I will do everything I can from my seat on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to see this project through to completion.” 

“As the Treasure Valley continues to grow, it is important to build new infrastructure to meet this increased demand for resources,” Fulcher said.  “By raising the Anderson Ranch Dam, we are adding valuable water storage to the area and providing additional capacity for Idahoans.  I applaud Secretary Bernhardt’s actions to move this critical project forward.”

“The Secretary’s determination of feasibility is an important step towards addressing the water supply needs of the Treasure Valley along with providing benefits for fish and wildlife,” said Snake River Area Manager Lanie Paquin.  “We are on track to meet the next important milestone – finalizing the companion environmental impact statement."

Background: As Idaho’s Treasure Valley grows, water storage capacity has become a top consideration to protect the region’s critical irrigation, domestic, industrial, and municipal needs.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s report describes how additional water storage capacity could help offset changes in precipitation patterns and enable storage of more runoff in high water years, enhancing the area’s long-term water supply while improving the ability to meet environmental needs and generate power.

The public comment period for the draft EIS concluded on September 14, 2020. For more information on the draft EIS or to obtain the final Boise River Basin Feasibility Report, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html.

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