Caldwell irrigation fight could have statewide implications


From left to right, Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, and Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, are members of an interim legislative committee examining the public defender system in the state.

What began as a local battle between the city of Caldwell and the Pioneer Irrigation District could have statewide ramifications, according to an Associated Press story in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

The Idaho Waters Users Association says if the city prevails in its eminent domain action against the district, other irrigation districts in the state could face similar actions.

At issue is control of outfalls, which are storm water discharge points. The district claims that the city must remove them because they are a source of pollutants to the Pioneer system. The city counters that it should control the outfalls, citing its need to use the 10,000 acres under dispute in a way “most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury.”

The two sides have been battling over city versus irrigation district rights since 2008, at a cost of more than $2 million for each side, according to the story.

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