Idaho water/population boom

Tourists and locals alike enjoy a beach along the shores of Coeur d’Alene Lake near the resort in Kootenai County.

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Originally published Aug. 18 on 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were used for public supply and domestic water, meaning water used in and out of a home, as well as any water withdrawn for the public water system, nearly all of Idaho’s water is used for agricultural irrigation.

Moscow xeriscpaing

{span}The city of Moscow coined the term wisescape to define a form of xeriscaping customized to the Palouse. This is the display outside of Moscow City Hall. {/span}