The first Treasure Valley Water Users Tour for elected officials and media will showcase southwest Idaho’s extensive irrigation and water-delivery infrastructure, organizer Roger Batt said.
The all-day event will be Aug. 19 if the state remains in its current economic-reopening stage tied to efforts to limit coronavirus spread, said Batt, executive director of the Treasure Valley Water Users Association.
He does not expect more than 50 people to participate in the tour, which will involve various safety measures and two buses.
Participants will tour the Boise River Basin, which encompasses about 350,000 acres from Boise west to Parma. The basin includes about 1,500 miles of irrigation canals and laterals. The region produces 50 crops, including seed crops sold worldwide.
Water supply, quality, delivery and rights are to be discussed, as well as recent issues including population growth, related conversions to pressurized irrigation systems, trespassing on irrigation entities’ properties and canal safety.
“Irrigation is the lifeblood of the Treasure Valley,” Batt said. “The purpose of the tour is to better educate our elected officials and members of the news media about the incredible irrigation storage and delivery systems we have in the Treasure Valley, many of which were constructed so many years ago.”
The tour will start at 8:30 a.m. at Riverside Hotel in Garden City and conclude by 4:45 p.m. at a Farmers Cooperative Ditch Co. project site near Parma.
Other scheduled stops are Lucky Peak Reservoir in east Boise and the downstream dam where water is diverted into canals, the Boise Project Board of Control — where its automated delivery system will be featured and lunch served — Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District, and Lake Lowell. Various presentations are scheduled.
Batt said participants in the free tour will be provided with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Distancing and other COVID-19 precautions will be observed. He can be reached at 208-412-5760 or Roger@amgidaho.com.
Idaho is in Stage 4 of its economic recovery. Central District Health in late June moved Ada County, which includes Boise and Garden City, back to Stage 3, which limits gatherings to 50 people.