Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has declared a drought emergency in Elmore County. The Governor has now approved drought declarations in 19 Idaho counties, the same number he signed last year.
Elmore County is reportedly experiencing severely restricted water supplies due to five consecutive years of below normal snowfall. Reduced reservoir carryover and low storage in the spring of 2004 has decreased the allocation of storage water from 3.0 acre-feet per acre to 1.75 acre-feet per acre.
The Elmore County Commissioners requested the drought declaration and the request was approved by the Idaho Department of Water Resources before being forwarded to Gov. Kempthorne for his approval.
Under the declaration, irrigators in the county can work with IDWR to secure temporary water rights and make modifications to existing water rights. The drought emergency declaration is effective until Dec. 31 unless extended or terminated by Director Karl Dreher.
Drought declarations have now been approved for Bannock, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Clark, Custer, Elmore, Gooding, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Oneida, Power, Teton, and Twin Falls counties.
All drought emergency declarations are available on the Idaho Department of Water Resources Web site at www.idwr.state.id.us.
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