Idaho Sets Prehearing Conference in Response to Call for Water Administration
On July 8, 2011 several senior water right holders in the State of Idaho filed “calls” for water administration with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (“IDWR”). The senior appropriators alleged that junior ground water pumpers materially injured their surface water rights for fish propagation and demanded that IDWR issue closing notices. Because administration could impact the use of hundreds of irrigators, municipalities and commercial/industrial entities, IDWR declined to take immediate action and, on July 28, 2011, scheduled a prehearing conference to develop a schedule to consider the calls. The approach taken by IDWR is intended to ensure closing notices are properly issued to avoid wrongful harm to other water users and to avoid litigation. No order scheduling an evidentiary hearing has yet been released.