Quick Facts about Sensitive Aquifer Designation

How would a sensitive aquifer designation affect me?

Some land use ordinances may be changed including rules for septic systems, stormwater runoff and hazardous materials storage (petroleum storage primarily).


What is the current designation?

The state of Idaho has the Portneuf Aquifer currently classified as "general." CLICK HERE to view the State rules and policy for groundwater protection and CLICK HERE for the official rule (section 300 contains categorization information).


Who designates the aquifer?

Any group can petition Idaho DEQ to designate the aquifer a sensitive resource. If local communities do so, they must first design special management rules which they deem appropriate for their local situation, and agree to participate in enforcing those rules. Furthermore, these special rules can and should be periodically revised to reflect the changing needs of the community as development pressures place a greater burden on the water resource. In this way, Idaho law ensures that communities who choose to re-designate will have greater, not lesser, local control over managing their water-supply aquifer.


How much would this cost me?

The State Legislature has appropriated funds to do an economic analysis to determine impacts. An economic impact analysis consulting firm has been contracted to perform the analysis which is currently underway. There are three main tasks that the firm, BBC Research, will complete. A PowerPoint presentation* outlines the approach BBC will take for the impact analysis.


How can I find out more about Sensitive Resource Designation?

A local aquifer protection working group has been formed to address the question of how to implement enhanced protective aquifer management in the LPRV - whether under the Sensitive Resource designation or by other means - and to provide information to local stakeholders. Contact Idaho Geologic Survey for more information or to be notified of future meetings.

* CLICK HERE for PowerPoint information.