Idaho’s new governor has another brand new idea fresh out of the 1940s — build more dams in Idaho to impound water.
It might sound great if you haven’t followed the issue for a generation.
Yes, there are dam sites left in Idaho, but there is not enough flow in the rivers to fill them.
Secondly he argues that rapid urban growth requires these dams, but most of Idaho’s extraordinary per capita consumption of water is from agriculture, not cities. There is plenty of existing storage and water in Idaho to accommodate future urban use.
Third, he wants Idahoans to pay for the new dams, forgetting the Idahoans have almost never paid for the many dams in the state, especially the irrigation dams. They were paid for by the taxpayers of the Unites States or private companies. They stopped building public dams in Idaho after the Teton Dam collapsed in 1976 as it was being filled for the first time, drowning 14 people and doing a billion dollars worth of damage. Most Idahoans and American taxpayers were fed up with with paying for these boondoggles.
Story in the Magic Valley Times-News. Governor Otter with a new idea from the distant past: build storage dams in Idaho.