Growthophobes Claim Victory In Water Fight

That mega subdivision planned north of Eagle needed a gusher of groundwater and came up with only a trickle as a result of an Idaho Department of Water Resources ruling Monday.

The developer known as M3 won approval for only one-sixth of the water right requested from Water Resources in what GROWTHOPHOBES living north and west of Eagle term a “victory.” The developer gets only 4 cubic feet per second instead of the requested 23cfs for the massive 7,100 unit development in the hills north of Eagle. The number of units was also limited to around 1,000.

M3 had requested 30 years to develop the Pierce Gulch Sand Aquifer resource, an ancient, ancestral lake.  Interim IDWR Director Gary Spackman instead ordered a 5-year window for “beneficial use” that has to commence within one year of permit issuance.  

In his decision, the interim director cited various discrepancies in water studies provided by M3, as well as a lack of data to fully understand the boundaries, fault conditions and recharge of the targeted aquifer.  Additionally, the interim director found that M3’s assumed status and application for reasonably anticipated needs as a municipal provider was not consistent with Idaho Code.

The order said, “the M3 Eagle development is, by it’s very nature, the very type of development that the legislature did not recognize as qualifying for a water right for reasonably anticipated future needs.  M3 Eagle proposes a large appropriation of water for a purpose that is not yet established.  The possible result of this protection could limit the future ability of existing municipalities in the area to extend and expand their currently existing systems”. 

Spackman went on to say ” M3 Eagle has the ability , if these proposed future anticipated needs are recognized, to hold the future development of water in the Treasure Valley floor for the existing communities hostage to its future anticipated needs that are distant and not yet developed”.   In granting the smaller flow rate, the Interim Director’s order also spelled out that M3 will be required  install measuring devices in a number of wells in the area including their own wells to monitor ground water levels. 

The order further stipulates that M3 Eagle will have to fully utilize waste water for irrigation purposes on all common areas including playgrounds and golf courses.  The M3 Eagle water right application was filed in November 2007 and was protested by a large number of individual and entities.  

A massive quantity of data and evidence was presented by M3 Eagle, the Protestants (growthophobes, not Christians) and the Idaho Dept of Water Resources spanning a record number of hearing days (17 days) that ended in late July 2009. 

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 22, 2009, 12:12 pm

    Water is the resource that will limit how many humans can occupy this tiny planet, or, for that matter, this valley.

  2. Now all we have to do is keep the gold bugs out of the Boise River drainage with their ARSENIC leaching of gold processes. The Boise River is going to be a major source of drinking water for this valley sooner rather than later for a lot more people than it is already serving.

    Water resources in this valley need to be protected as a comodity more valuable than gold. Without water we are finished doing much of anything. These resources belong to everyone who lives here.

  3. Like former Republican Congressman Helen Chenoweth said about salmon, if water is so endangered why can I buy it in a bottle at the store?

  4. Dog,

    When was the last time you tried watering a crop, your yard, or perhaps even something as simple as preparing an entire meal, and washing the dishes, with Perrier?

  5. Tony,
    According to Republicans, the market system will always regulate itself. If you can’t afford water than maybe you shouldn’t get thirsty.

  6. Dog,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Greenspan put that piece of dogma to death when he admitted he was wrong in his belief that markets protect themselves.

  7. I am curious what will happen when, as Paul so correctly stated, water becomes the most vital resource we have in this valley, we realize our water system is owned by a French company. As is Crystal Geyser, all the off-shoot brands associated with it, and heaven knows how many other municipal water companies? Somehow I doubt that the French will share our nationalistic pride when it comes to protecting our resources!

    EDITOR NOTE–Does this mean you have doubts about the new “management firm” for Valley Transit as well?

  8. Absolutely! I swear we couldn’t screw up this valley any worse if it was our primary goal! I wonder who the new management company will replace? Anyone?

  9. serendipity
    Jan 8, 2010, 7:59 pm

    Greenspan’s mea culpa on his market dogma was theater (aka spin), and it only happened AFTER he retired. Meanwhile, Bernanke, IF he gets approved by the
    Senate for more years running the Fed, is in same old same old mode. I hope the Senate comes to their senses, and dumps him in favor of a new less compromised candidate, if there are any.

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