Lewiston Officials Happy with Water-Flow Rulesby The Associated Press
The Idaho Statesman, January 4, 2002
Limits are flexible if water is to be used for development
LEWISTON -- City officials are pleased that newly approved minimum stream flows provide for future municipal growth and industrial development.
The new flow limits allow exceptions if water is being used for domestic, municipal, commercial or industrial development, to water livestock or to irrigate residential lots.
Bill Sedivy, director of the environmental group Idaho Rivers United, said he is happy the Idaho Department of Water Resources established minimum flows, but he was disappointed fish, wildlife and recreation are subordinate to most other uses.
"The problem is that Idaho water law sure doesnīt make it easy to leave water in the streams for fish, wildlife and recreation," he said.
Board chairman Joe Jordan of Fruitland said the water rights can be amended at anytime if it is deemed either too strict or too lenient.
The flow levels were set when the department granted the Idaho Water Resources Board request for rights to enough water to support salmon and steelhead populations and provide for recreational use.
Officials from the city of Lewiston and Potlatch Corp. expressed reservations about the minimum flows during the application process, but said they are satisfied with the boardīs decision.
"If the city of Lewiston needs to grow and take more water out of the river, this particular water right will not interfere," Lewiston city attorney Don Roberts said.
Mike Sullivan, a spokesman for Potlatch Corp. in Spokane, said he does not think the water rights will have a significant impact on the company.
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