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Seminar Abstract

Don Reading - Tuesday, May 13


Snake River Water Transfers

Hydrologists at the University of Idaho, working in Idaho Falls in collaboration with IDWR, have developed a model of Snake hydrology that is capable of estimating impacts on various reaches of a change in groundwater pumping at any point in the aquifer. IDWR is using this model as the basis for policy on water rights transfers between users within a particular sector of the aquifer or between sectors. This covers changes in use as well as location. The policy, effected through the model, calculates the costs required to be borne by the new user, by year, to mitigate third party effects from the transfer. That is, how much of the transferred right must be left in the aquifer to avoid third party effects. This mechanism and policy, in conjunction with ownership rights, make possible a water market in southern Idaho. This seminar will lay out the concept, the policy, and utilize the model to calculate several examples of rights transfer.


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