Gov. Otter Asks Idaho Lawmakers For $15 Million Down Payment On Dams, Water Study
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter aims to build billions of dollars in new or expanded Idaho dams, to capture more water in his state's drought-stricken southern desert for crops, cities and flushing endangered salmon to the sea.
He's asking lawmakers to give him $15 million down payment for, among other things, studying whether a new era of dam building make sense, given somebody will have to pay for it.
One project he's pushing, a new Weiser River dam, could be used for everything from flood control to electricity.
But activist groups are skeptical, saying the project would have been built during Idaho's dam-building heyday — had it made financial sense.
Idaho Power, the state's biggest utility, said Tuesday it's monitoring whether new dams fit its hydroelectric system on the Snake River.