LPRV Aquifer Management: Sensitive Resource


Commentary that has been generated so far centers around the need to adopt enhanced management methods under the Sensitive Resource label. If the goal is aquifer protection, why do we need to resort to Sensitive Resource status. The answer, simply, is that we don't. 

We could take existing rules and regulations, perhaps fine-tune them and decide to actively apply and enforce them, and we'd have achieved a management status that is certainly better than it is currently.

However, if such measures are not uniformly applied and enforced in all jurisdictions across the management area, then the intent and the effect will have been lost.

The greatest advantages of moving to Sensitive Resource status is the long-term, cross- jurisdictional coordination that is guaranteed by first achieving consensus over the need for enhanced aquifer protection.

Disadvantages include opposition from special-interest groups (part of the Rathdrum experience), and how to adequately and accurately predict and value the short- and long-term costs and benefits that could be expected from proactive protective measures. Finally, generating the political will to establish cross-jurisdictional agreements and enforcement standards will be a significant challenge.