A bill from a Magic Valley lawmaker would let firefighters use ground water without a water right.
Senate Bill 1050 from Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, would allow groundwater to be diverted and used at any time, with or without a water right, for firefighting. Currently, firefighters can only divert and use water from a natural watercourse.
The bill advanced through the House Resources and Conservation Committee on Wednesday; it already passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote.
Paul Arrington, director of the Idaho Water Users Association, gave testimony in favor of the bill Wednesday. “I think this is a good, common-sense bill,” Arrington said.
Rep. Sally Toone, a Democrat from Gooding, will carry the bill on the House floor.