PRESS RELEASE — Monday, November 4, 2013
For Information Call Anne Peterson at 208-373-7368
or Bob Evancho at 373-7369
OUTDOOR IDAHO dives into “Idaho Water Handbook,” a new episode that premieres this week on Idaho Public Television.
IdahoPTV producer Aaron Kunz takes a close look at the state's water resources, how they are managed, and what can be expected in the future. The episode recognizes water's scenic value, its importance to the state’s economy, and its function as the veins and arteries of southern Idaho's arid sagebrush steppe.
“Idaho Water Handbook” premieres Thursday (Nov. 7) at 8:00 p.m. MT/PT and repeats Sunday (Nov. 10) at 7:00 p.m. MT/PT.
Out of a contentious past that included gunfights over water, Idaho has developed a system of allocation based on law, studies and a recently updated water plan.
“There are no easy answers,” Kunz says. “We may think we are doing our best to be good stewards, but for every change someone will think it is wrong. One positive change is that water disputes are now fought in court instead of with bullets.”
Cameras capture stunning views of Idaho from beside lakes, rivers and streams as scientists, farmers, conservationists and water managers convey information on Idaho water's past, current use and future prospects. A common thread throughout the show is that water is continually teaching Idahoans new lessons.
“For nearly a hundred years, we thought surface water and underground water in southern Idaho were fairly separate,” Kunz says. “When farmers began installing sprinkler irrigation to replace flood irrigation, they reduced water use dramatically. But the change also dried up springs and lowered underground water supplies in some places.”
Now, he says, the state water plan says both must be managed together.