LPRV Aquifer Management: Introduction

One of the ways in which information is being provided to the community is through the state of Idaho's Source Water Assessment program. This program, which grew out of the 1996 re-authorized federal Clean Water Act, provides water managers and the public
with an evaluation of where a public water supply well (in the example shown in the figure, Chubbuck's Well #2) draws its water - a so-called capture zone, and where within that capture area, potential contaminant sources (land-use activities such as fuel storage tanks,
industrial or commercial handlers of hazardous materials, agrichemical suppliers, etc.) are located.

The combination of how long it takes water within the capture zone to get to the well and how many and what kinds of potential contaminant sources occur within each time-of-travel zone, allows an assignment of the relative risk that that well water supply has of becoming contaminated.

Although neither the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requires water managers to take additional steps to protect a well if it is at risk, the intent of the Source Water Assessment program - and the hope - is that individual communities can determine what sort of management measures are required to protect their water supply.

In other words, protection is a voluntary step, that is left to the community to decide. This is the focus of this presentation.