Idaho cuts water quality monitoring program - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho cuts water quality monitoring program

KETCHUM, Idaho. - The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says it will stop water quality monitoring at 47 sites on the state's rivers and streams this fall due to budget cutbacks.

The agency and the U.S. Geological Survey since the late 1980s have monitored the sites to track trends in sediment loads, nutrient levels and fish numbers.

The department had to make the cuts to meet Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's requirement that state agencies reduce costs due to declining state revenues.

Greg Clark, associate director for the Geological Survey's water program in Idaho, says the water quality monitoring program costs the two agencies a combined $250,000 each year.

He says the Geological Survey doesn't have the money to continue the monitoring on its own.

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