Reclamation – Managing Water in the West

Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) prepared this Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the proposed Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange and Title Transfer Project. This EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts that could result from the implementation of the water exchange and title transfer alternatives.

Early settlers to the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers made their living by dryland farming, mining, and lumbering. Many of the settlers found the climate at the lower elevation provided for comfortable living with a good growing season for crops and orchards. In 1906, the Lewiston Land and Water Company of Portland, Oregon initiated irrigation in the area with the construction of the Sweetwater Creek Canal and Reservoir A Dam to deliver irrigation and domestic water to the dry bench above Lewiston, Idaho. To accomplish this, the company condemned Indian trust allotments on the Nez Perce Reservation owned by the U.S. in trust for individual Indians in a state court proceeding in Lewiston. The company failed to notify or include the U.S. as a party and its condemnation of U.S. trust allotments, then used for reservoirs and canals, occurred without lawful jurisdiction and remains of disputed validity to this day.




  • Irrigation Season ends October 20th with little water left to spare.
    October 2, 2015 by
    Thank you for your conservation efforts! When you are ready to have your irrigation water service turned off, give us a call at 208.746.8235. LOID will turn off you water for free!...
  • Current Construction
    August 26, 2015 by
    LOID is currently replacing irrigation pipe on Hemlock Avenue between the blocks of 14th Street and 15th Street.  Soon, irrigation pipe replacement will be starting for the area of Powers Avenue between 11th Street and 13th Street. If you have any questions, please call the...
  • LOID is working on an irrigation supply alternative!
    July 10, 2015 by
    LOID is working on a long-range solution.  We have drilled a pilot well to test the aquifer’s viability as a replacement system.  The pilot well looks promising, and if progress on the well continues as expected, water will be available for the 2017...
  • New Well for LOID
    July 1, 2015 by
    In an effort to stay litigation, the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District (LOID) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nez Perce Tribe in July 2009.  Other signers included Nez Perce County, the City of Lewiston and the...