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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The state’s deadline is fast approaching for groundwater users to install flow meters at their wells that pump water from a southern Idaho aquifer.

Groundwater users who pump from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer have until April 1 to install meters that measure the amount of water taken from the wells, The Times-News reported .

The Idaho Department of Water Resources issued the order in 2016 as part of an effort to replenish the diminishing aquifer, which stretches from Idaho Falls to Wendell.

“Installation of flow meters is a vital part of the reduction plans,” said Nathan Erickson, a Twin Falls area watermaster for the department. “Without good measuring devices, groundwater users won’t know how much water they are using.”

The meter requirement applies to about 5,400 groundwater wells. Domestic and livestock wells and small irrigation wells for areas less than 5 acres (2 hectares) are exempt.

About 60 percent of the required users have installed meters, leaving several thousand wells still needing meters. Users who are not in compliance by the deadline will be required to submit a plan to the department on reaching compliance, Erickson said.

A meter with installation charges costs about $2,500, said Troy Chandler, a manger of meter vendor Farmore Irrigation. The meters are installed at the well’s pump.


Information from: The Times-News,