From the December 2007 Idaho Observer:

Plan to stop adjudication in north Idaho taking shape

In 1986, the Reagan administration told the state of Idaho that it must "adjudicate" its water resource or the federal government would do it for us. Colorado, California, Montana, Washington and Oregon are also "adjudicating" water.

What was originally billed as a means to settle disputes arising among interests competing in the commercial enforcement of water rights claims has become a process of bringing the domestic use of water from private wells into a state-administered regulatory scheme.

The "right" to use water on private property for domestic purposes is both privately deeded and guaranteed in the Idaho Constitution (probably in the constitutions of the other affected states also). Through adjudication, the constitutional right and the deeded right is being replaced with a state-administrated, fee-dependent privilege that can be granted or taken away, altered or amended in court.

"Adjudication" is part of a long-range plan to globalize the water resource which is outlined in the World Bank Water Policy Paper (1995). In essence, the World Bank and its philosophical counterparts in global governance and industry claim that water is a global resource that must be shared evenly; a property owner in Idaho should pay the same price for his water as a migrant farmer in Ethiopia pays for his.

The government bureaucrats promoting adjudication appear completely unaware or unconcerned that their activities are directly and provably serving a globalist agenda that betrays the interests of Americans. Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Mike Tuthill commented that he is pressing for adjudication in north Idaho because his department has a $25 million budget and 187 employees—good people with families and bills to pay—who need the work.

A plan to overcome the adjudication process is taking shape in north Idaho. At right is a letter to see how much help we can expect from those who profess to represent our interests in Boise. So far, only Senator Broadsword has had the decency to respond and the help she proposes is, in our opinion, not going to stop the water thieves. It appears that we must internalize the mantra, "If the people will lead, the leaders will follow."

Those opposed to adjudication are encouraged to contact The IO and stand with us as we defy the state's will to turn domestic water "rights" into fee-dependent privileges.


December 13, 2007

RE: North Idaho Water Adjudication

Dear Senators Keough and Broadsword;

Representatives Anderson, Eskridge and Shepherd:

Over the last decade, dozens of meetings have been convened in locations all over the state to discuss "water adjudication"—the federally-instigated, state-administrated process of converting property owners’ inviolable (Idaho State) constitutional "rights" to utilize the water resources on their properties for domestic purposes into licensed, fee-dependent, court-determined privileges. Those most impacted by water adjudication are rural property owners who purchased property under the assumption that they had the unmitigated right to use the water on their property for domestic purposes.

If you were to poll the rural property owners with deeded/constitutional water rights in your district, you would find that 90 to 95 percent of them do not want their rights to use water on their property for domestic purposes downgraded to a fee-based, court-determined privilege. Your own observations of water adjudication meetings are probably consistent with the 90-95 percent estimate of constituents opposed to water adjudication.

There is a growing desire among north Idaho property owners whose rights to domestic use of water on private property are threatened by water adjudication to impress upon those representing their interests in the legislature to block attempts by the state to force the adjudication of domestic wells in the five northern counties of Idaho.

This query is being forwarded to all of the senators and representatives in Idaho legislative districts one and two as an email and as a hardcopy via the U.S. mail. We, the expanding number of your constituents who understand and oppose the water adjudication process, respectfully request that you help us stop the adjudication of private wells on private property in north Idaho. So we can help you represent our interests in the legislature with regard to water adjudication, we would like timely answers to the following questions:

1. What legislative mechanism may be employed to stop adjudication of domestic water resources on private property in areas subject to "North Idaho Adjudication?"

2. How many water adjudication-specific public meetings should be organized throughout north Idaho, within what time frame and who should be invited to speak and attend these meetings?

3. What form of public survey/petition should be performed or circulated and how many survey respondents/petition signatures would you need to lobby in favor of those opposed to water adjudication?

4. Of the above-enumerated questions, what functions will volunteer members of our communities be expected to perform and what support can we expect from you?

Water and our deeded, constitutionally-guaranteed right to it is life itself. Please consider this matter as high on your hierarchy of priorities as do those whose interests—whose lives—you are representing in the Idaho state legislature.


Don Harkins and Ingri Cassel, Spirit Lake

Cornel Rasor, Westmond

Betty McKinney, Kootenay

Harold Hilton, Clark Fork

Dick Hamacher, Old Town

Anne Wilder Chamberlain, Priest River

Aich Hilton, Sandpoint

Thousands of as yet unnamed John and Jane Does