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Local Idaho Water Rental Pools Provide Options for Irrigators

Posted on: Jun 13, 2017

In Idaho, irrigators have specific options to realize additional revenue through the short-term leases of their unused water. To facilitate these leases, the Idaho Water Resource Board operates the Idaho Water Supply Bank as well as local rental pools. For the Board bank, water rights may be leased to the Bank, if not currently in use, and rights may be rented from the Bank for beneficial uses such as commercial, industrial, irrigation, or mining. The current rental rate for the Board's water supply bank is $17 per acre-foot of water, of which the Board retains 10% of the gross rental fee and the lessor (usually the water right holder) receives 90% of the gross rental fee as payment.

Local rental pools pertain to specific watersheds in Idaho. The rental pool allows entities with surplus storage water to make it available to others are in short supply of water in a particular year. Often time canal companies will lease their surplus water to other users. The local rental pool committees set the price, which the Board must approve, for water that can be rented or sold from their rental pool. The price is often specific to the geography of the local pool and the location where the water is to be used.

The basic structure of the Idaho water banks sets up rules for relatively short term transfers. The short-term nature of the transactions gives irrigators the flexibility to move in and out of the market as their plans and needs change.

Local rental pools in Idaho include:

Water District #1 - Snake River Basin, the most active of the rental pools in 2015. The rental rates in this district varied from $6 /acre-foot (AF) to $22 / AF, and in 2015 the average rates was $14.50 / AF.

Water District #63 - Boise River Basin, in which the rental rate for stored water in 2015 was $14.27 / AF.

Water District #65 - Payette River Basin. The rental rates for in-basin uses in this basin were $2 / AF in 2015 and $14.27 / AF for out-of-basin uses.

Water District #65K - Lake Fork Basin where rental rates were $13.28 / AF in 2015.

Water District #74 - Lemhi River Basin. This is the only basin where the water rights are not for stored rights, but rather are surface water rentals.

Pfister Land Company assists landowners with all aspects of real asset ownership. Water right transactions are one of our many service areas. Learn more about our services here.

Post Categories: Industry News


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