Reclamation seeks public comment on potential changes to water storage in the Boise River System

Media Contact: Michael Coffey, 208-378-5020, mcoffey@usbr.gov
Steve Stuebner, 208-484-0295, sstuebner@cableone.net

For Release: July 31, 2020

BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation announced today it is seeking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the Boise River Basin Feasibility Study. Reclamation and the Idaho Water Resource Board have been studying options for increasing water storage capacity within the Boise River System through an ongoing feasibility study.

“Planning for future water needs in the Boise River basin is essential to ensure a secure water supply for future generations,” said Snake River Area Manager Lanie Paquin. Three alternatives are analyzed in the draft EIS:

  • No Action Alternative – assumes no federal action would be taken
  • Alternative B – preferred alternative, a six-foot raise of Anderson Ranch Dam
  • Alternative C – a three-foot raise of Anderson Ranch Dam
Additional water storage capacity could help offset changes in precipitation patterns and enable storage of more runoff in high water years, enhancing long-term water supply for critical irrigation, domestic, industrial and municipal needs while continuing to meet environmental and power generation needs.

Due to social distancing requirements at this time, Reclamation will be conducting virtual public involvement to seek public comment on the draft EIS. The public will have the opportunity to participate through a web-based virtual meeting room from July 31, 2020, to September 14, 2020. The virtual “meeting” room will be accessible at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html. Website visitors will be able to view public meeting materials, pose questions, view answers and submit comments.

Additionally, the public can participate in a teleconference on August 26, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. MDT. Please go to the website for instructions on how to participate: https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html.

Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. MDT on September 14, 2020, through the Boise River Basin Feasibility Study website at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/boisefeasibility/index.html or by email to BOR-SRA-BoiFeasibility@usbr.gov. A draft feasibility report will be made available on the Boise River Basin Feasibility Study website. Accessibility requests should be made by August TBD, 2020, to BOR-SRA-BoiFeasibility@usbr.gov.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.