The A&B Irrigation District (District), located near Rupert, Idaho, is part of Reclamation’s Minidoka Project, North Side Pumping Division. The District serves approximately 82,600 acres of irrigated land and is split into two major irrigated areas – Unit A (served by surface water from the Snake River) and Unit B (served by groundwater wells tapping the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer).
Over the past several decades, Unit B groundwater wells have steadily declined. To address this, plans were developed to install a second pumping plant and associated distribution pipelines to both provide supplemental water to lands with failing groundwater in Unit B and eliminate delivery constraints in the original Unit A configuration.
The Bureau of Reclamation distributed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed project in May 2014. The Draft EA identified the Alternative 2 configuration of pumping plant location and pipeline route as the preferred alternative. Reclamation received over 30 comment letters on the Draft EA, as well as direct input from members of the public at an informational open house held on May 14, 2014, at the Best Western Burley Inn in Burley, Idaho.
As a result of the written public input received during the Draft EA review period, including input received during the open house, Reclamation and the District reanalyzed which alternative pumping plant and pipeline location would best meet project objectives, including keeping project cost within a feasible range, while minimizing potential adverse effects on local landowners and residents. The result was a change of the preferred alternative for the pumping plant location and pipeline alignment to Alternative 3. This change reduced potential effects on landowners both near the proposed pumping plant and across the river and is reflected in the Final EA.
The Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were released on January 29, 2015. The final documents are posted on this website and have been mailed to all who requested copies of the Draft EA.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, Attn: John Petrovsky at 230 Collins Rd., Boise, ID or by phone at (208) 383-2224.