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A series of graphs show how much of Idaho’s water withdrawn from groundwater and surface water sources is used for different purposes as of 2015. (Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey)

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Exploding growth affecting Idaho water supply
August 19, 2022 1 a.m.

Exploding growth affecting Idaho water supply

Fillios says some wells going dry in Kootenai County

As more people migrate to Idaho, counties like Ada and Kootenai are seeing the effects of the rising population on the areas’ already diminishing water sources. Whether water is coming from groundwater sources like aquifers or surface water sources like rivers and reservoirs, local officials say Idaho’s water is being used faster than it can be replenished. In 2015, Idaho had the highest water usage per person in the nation with an average of 184 gallons of water being used a day, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey. While 1.6% of Idaho’s water withdrawals were used for public supply and domestic water, meaning water used in and out of a home, as well as any water withdrawn for the public water system, nearly all of Idaho’s water is used for agricultural irrigation.