Support for minimum stream flows; support for comprehensive planning on a basin-wide basis for conservation, development, and management; support for an inventory of water resources within the basin.
The 1979 LWVID Convention voted to work with Washington, Oregon, and Montana Leagues to promote coordinated multi-purpose management of Columbia River basin waters through an inter-League task force. With the Oregon and Washington Leagues, LWVID has supported protection for Hells Canyon. Most recently, LWVID supports Protected Areas amendments of the Northwest Power Planning Council limiting segments of Northwest streams from future hydropower development to benefit anadromous and resident fish and to enhance wildlife habitats.
The League has worked for minimum stream flow legislation and the "Water/Power" initiative to set minimum stream flows and continues to support base flows for individual streams.
This position was adopted in May of 1981 and reorganized in May of 1988.
The League of Women Voters of Idaho is concerned about the many uses of the Columbia River beyond the generation of electricity. Minimum stream flows should be established as a public right and maintained on streams in the Columbia River Basin. Regional planning policy should provide for irrigated agriculture as well as for the protection and enhancement of anadromous and resident fish.
In order to meet the present and future needs within the Columbia River Basin, the League of Women Voters of Idaho believes comprehensive planning on a basin-wide basis for conservation, development, and management of water is essential to the optimum utilization of our water resources. Machinery is needed which will provide coordinated planning and administration among federal, state and other agencies and establish a process for resolving conflicts among uses. Procedures should be established which provide information and an opportunity for citizen participation in policy decisions affecting water resources development. The federal government has a role in financing water resources development, but state and local government and private users should share such costs based on benefits received and the ability to pay.
The League believes that wise planning for the use of water in the Columbia River Basin requires an inventory of the water resources within the basin. This inventory should include all water-related rights, current use and projected needs. This information should be readily available to concerned agencies and the general public.