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Idaho State Water Management and Idahoan Farmers

The final installment of Jessa and Trina’s conversation, this episode brings together water rights and allocation, the social dilemma of climate change, and Idaho farmers’ use of water under state laws and regulations.

Dr. Trina Running is a professor in the sociology, social work, and criminology department at Idaho State University. She looks at climate change and environmental justice from a social point of view - what does climate change mean for human society, and how do we help ourselves in this crisis? Today, Trina explains to Jessa some of the attitudes of Idaho farmers in relation to water usage and environmental change. Right now, the majority of Idahoan farmers don’t see the social dilemma that climate change poses to humans. They are also at the center of most legal negotiations around water usage and allocation around the state. So how are farmers in Idaho dealing with environmental change and legal modifications while keeping their farms as profitable as possible? However, Jessa ends this episode on a good note – farmers around the country have noticed the peril that humans face with the rising global temperature and other climate change, and have taken steps to farm more sustainably. Read below for more in-depth discussions on their progress.

Further resources! 

Portneuf Resource Council’s new website:

Trina Running’s website, which describes her research and has links to her publications:

The Idaho Department of Water Resources website:

Water rights overview, Idaho Department of Water Resources:

PDF of the Amended Snake River Basin Moratorium Order from October 2022:

“Farmers are coming around on climate change,” a Roll Call article:'s%20contribution%20to,crops%20are%20out%20of%20rotation.

Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021:,ranchers%2C%20and%20private%20forest%20landowners.

An explanation of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021, which became law in December of 2022, from University of Nebraska – Lincoln:

Article from which the Senator Braun’s quote was pulled from:

Jessa is in her final year of her undergraduate career, pursuing three majors: English with Creative Writing, History, and Global Studies with an emphasis in French Language and Literature. She is a published author through ISU's Black Rock & Sage literary magazine and hopes to join the Sustainability Club at ISU. Her sustainability journey began with her year abroad when she interned for Letters to the Earth, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability. She hopes to work for Amnesty International until she can write books in the mountains full time.