Aging Infrastructure Grants with the Idaho Department of Water Resources
Jessa talks with Neeley Miller and Steve Stuebner from the Idaho Department of Water Resources about the Aging Infrastructure Grant project. This project’s main goal is to update irrigation infrastructure, sometimes up to a hundred years old, all around the state.
Idaho has been home to farmers for a long time. And, as a desert environment, that has always come with some sort of irrigation. Amazingly, irrigation from the first settlers in Idaho is still in use today, some being as old as over a hundred years! However, age isn’t everything, and the old irrigation has proven to waste water and make farming - an already incredibly difficult task – even more arduous. Therefore, to help our farmers and to promote sustainable practices within Idaho agriculture, the state has invested in Aging Infrastructure Grants. These grants, headed by the Department of Water Resources, has awarded 1 cycle of $25 million, is in the process of awarding another $25 million, and plans on awarding a final $25 million to update irrigation infrastructure all around the state.
Portneuf Resource Council’s new website: portneufresourcecouncil.org
The Idaho Department of Water Resources website: https://idwr.idaho.gov/
IDWR’s webpage on the Aging Infrastructure Grant program (this has Steve’s series in PDF form on the right hand side, so make sure to check those out too!!): https://idwr.idaho.gov/iwrb/programs/financial/aging-infrastructure-grant/#:~:text=During%20its%202022%20session%2C%20the,infrastructure%20or%20support%20flood%20management.%E2%80%9D
At the bottom of this document is outlined the four IWRB districts which Neeley mentioned in the interview. These are:
District No. 1: Boundary, Bonner,
Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah,
Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce,
Lewis and Idaho counties.
District No. 2: Adams, Valley,
Washington, Payette, Gem,
Boise, Canyon, Ada, Elmore and
District No. 3: Camas, Gooding,
Jerome, Twin Falls, Cassia,
Blaine, Lincoln, Minidoka, Lemhi,
Custer and Butte counties.
District No. 4: Clark, Fremont,
Jefferson, Madison, Teton,
Bingham, Bonneville, Power,
Bannock, Caribou, Oneida,
Franklin and Bear Lake counties.
An article from Local News 8 explaining a little bit about where the money came from: https://localnews8.com/news/idaho/2022/09/22/funding-for-multiple-major-water-infrastructure-projects-with-federal-arpa-and-state-surplus-funds-approved/
“Farmers are coming around on climate change,” a Roll Call article: https://rollcall.com/2020/05/13/farmers-are-coming-around-on-climate-change/#:~:text=To%20counteract%20agriculture's%20contribution%20to,crops%20are%20out%20of%20rotation.
Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1251#:~:text=This%20bill%20authorizes%20the%20Department,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: https://cap.unl.edu/policy-legal/growing-climate-solutions-act-march-9-2023-webinar
Article from which the Senator Braun’s quote was pulled from: https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/newsroom/dem/press/release/growing-climate-solutions-act-passes-us-senate