2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Is Boise Water Consumption Sustainable?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michail Fragkias


Boise Idaho is no stranger to growth, in the past 10 years the population of Ada county has grown by 100,000 people. Our neighbor county, Canyon county has also grown by an impressive amount, 50,000 people in ten years. For Ada this is a 25.7% increase and for Canyon this is a 25.2% increase. The increase that we have seen in the past 10 years is also beyond what our estimates predicted by 20,000. With this large increase in population, there comes some costs. The main cost we'll be looking at today is water consumption and availability to the citizens of the Boise Metro area which encompasses Ada and Canyon county. Idaho being an agricultural state makes cheap plentiful water a critical component of our economy. With these thoughts in mind, is the Boise metro areas water consumption sustainable? For this paper I looked at a few pieces of evidence, first is my predecessors work on this topic from a couple years ago, second is the average amount of water consumed for individual and commercial use, lastly, I'll also be looking at the historic water levels in Boise. My research reached the conclusion that we should be expecting a water shortage of some form in the Boise metro area within the nest 10 to 15 years. From this, I found two main contributing factors, a rapidly growing population and climate change. With this problem in mind I started to look for policy solutions that might move us in the right direction. The first idea was to strongly encourage the installation of artificial lawns. The second idea was to make farming in the agricultural region surrounding the Boise Metro area more efficient and thus reducing their water demand.

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