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Nampa receives federal grant in efforts to recycle water, address drought

a dirt field with hoses going into the irrigation supply.
City of Nampa
City of Nampa

The City of Nampa just got extra money to help meet EPA regulations on phosphorus levels and water temperature.

The $3 million will go towards upgrades to clean wastewater and the city’s efforts to recycle water.

Currently, the wastewater is treated and sent to Indian Creek, eventually ending up in the Boise River. This project will increase the water quality and direct 11 million gallons a day towards the Pioneer Irrigation System.

Jeff Barnes, director of Nampa's Water Resources, said the water won’t be potable but will be safe for irrigation and agriculture.

“To give you an idea how much water this is, it's 15% of the total surface water we use annually that we will be injecting back into our system,” he said.

Barnes added water needs could double in the next 40 years as new residents and industries move into Canyon County. Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the country and infrastructure needs are increasing.

A drawing of the different stages of water treatments leading to the Phyllis Canal. From Preliminary Treatment, to Primary and Secondary Treatment, Filtration and Disinfection.
City of Nampa
City Of Nampa

“This investment helps us be good stewards of the water resources we have,” he said. The area has seen the effect of the climate on surface water levels. This year, the city established a Drought Task Force to plan for a shrinking water supply.

“If you add impacts from drought and growth,” he said, “we need to do our part to conserve water.”

Plant construction started in January and is set to be done by 2025, six years before the EPA’s compliance deadline.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.