Idaho Farms

War on Nation’s Food Supply?: Idaho Restricts Water to 500,000 Acres of Farmland

(Zero Hedge)—In late May, Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Mathew Weaver issued a curtailment order requiring 6,400 junior groundwater rights holders who pump off the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to shut off their spigots.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a statement following the order on May 30, “Water curtailment is never desired, but the director must follow Idaho law and the Constitution in issuing this order.”

Brian Murdock, an East Idaho farmer, said the water curtailment affects 500,000 acres, which equates to roughly 781 square miles of farmland.

“Well, as you said, the state of Idaho and the Idaho Department of Water Resources has issued this curtailment of 500,000 acres. And to help put that in perspective, that’s basically 781 square miles of farm ground that is being taken out of production,” Murdock told the hosts of Fox News.

The grain and potato farmer continued, “And, of course, the worst problem is this is happening during a very plentiful water year. We have the reservoirs [that] are completely full, and when I mean full, they’re dang near breaking. The rivers are running as high as they possibly can. Just trying to keep those dams from breaking.”

In eastern Idaho, groundwater users with junior water rights breached the 2016 agreement in 2021 and 2022. Currently, Gov. Little, the lieutenant governor, the Director of Water Resources, and representatives from groundwater and surface water user groups are discussing a new deal. The plan is to strike a new agreement before the curtailment dries up the farmland.

Murdock told co-hosts Dagen McDowell and Sean Duffy that his family’s century-old farm faces a $3 million loss due to the state-issued order.

“This is the largest curtailment in the history of the United States as far as farm ground,” Murdock said in a video posted on X.

In a commentary piece in the local paper Idaho Capital Sun, farmer Adam Young had a lot of questions about the state’s move to inflict pain on farmers:

It’s hard to understand why the department chooses to be so openly hostile to groundwater irrigators or why they decided to inflict widespread, massive curtailment on the state in a year when water is abundantly plentiful. This is not what sound resource management looks like. It’s time for Idaho’s elected officials to step up and demonstrate true leadership on this crucial issue. This is not how Idaho water law, which relies on both “priority of time” and “the public policy of reasonable use of water,” was ever intended to work.

Some X users believe the water curtailment is happening around the time as the governor commissions a new cobalt mining operation in the state.

We must question whether a much larger, more insidious agenda is at play here. Is this part of the war on the food supply?