Bureau of Reclamation holds scoping meetings to discuss the Boise Project
On Aug. 29, the Bureau of Reclamation held a scoping meeting in Mountain Home to discuss what they call the Boise Project. The project refers to a system of reservoirs, dams, canals and drains to irrigate and regulate water flows in the Boise and Payette River valleys. Today it consists of six reservoirs, two diversion dams, three powerplants, seven pumping plants, 720 miles of main canals, more than 1,300 miles of smaller canals and 650 miles of drains.
Anderson Ranch Dam was completed in 1950 and at that time was the largest earthfill dam in the world sitting at 456 feet above the streambed.
Now the Bureau is considering raising the dam by six feet which would increase water storage by 29,000 acre feet.
Last week they held meetings in Pine, ID, and Boise in addition to the meeting held in Mountain Home.
The Elmore County Commissioners attended each of the meetings and according to Commissioner Wes Wootan he hadnít heard negative comments from the public at any of them, but did say there was some concern about how it would effect recreation at Anderson Ranch Reservoir. He went on to say that he hopes that expanding beaches and camping will be looked into by the different agencies involved.
According to Roland Springs of the Bureau of Reclamation the agency had began looking at ways to increase water storage along the Boise River beginning with a study in 2006 that looked at a number of options. They were then authorized by Congress to look further into those options in a feasibility study over 10 years ago, but were required to find a non-federal partner that would be willing to pay for 15 percent of the costs of the study. They have been looking for that partner ever since and have now teamed up with the Idaho Board of Water Resources to do just that.
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