Geothermal and Boise's First LIV District

October 10, 2018 - Heat Beneath Our Feet

Geothermal has been a natural resource utilized by the City of Boise since the 19th century! It is unique to our area and creates sustainable and renewable energy for downtown, most notably for Boise's first LIV District.

Piping system

What is Geothermal?

The geothermal water is a natural resource that generates heat for buildings and homes in the downtown area of Boise.  Using the 20 miles of pipeline to pump the water, the city is also able to use it as a way to heat some sidewalks for snowmelt.  In order to keep the geothermal water an active energy source, the city takes the water from the Boise foothills and distributes it through an intricate system throughout downtown Boise. The water is then re-injected back into a supply aquifer near Julia Davis Park to create a self-sufficient system, heating homes and businesses all throughout downtown, without using any fossil fuels to produce it.

What is a LIV District?

A LIV District is a geographical area of focused investment that builds on the existing neighborhood fabric, addresses sustainability and takes a balanced approach to planning. The Central Addition is currently the only LIV district in the city and is home to several businesses including Boise Brewing, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

People looking at pipes
Ambassadors inspecting the geothermal pipes in the foothills station.
Group of people sitting on a rock
Ambassadors outside one of the geothermal injection sites
Woman speaking to group
Environmental Sr. Manager Haley Falconer giving a tour of the LIV District

What Makes a LIV District Sustainability Friendly?

The LIV District is not only heated using Geothermal water, but it has taken on other sustainable measures to ensure the best use of our natural resources; this includes Streetscape and Stormwater. The LIV District uses innovative water management practices, including permeable pavers, bio-infiltration swales and landscape located between roadways and sidewalks to maximize buildable areas of private property and reduce pollutant loadings to the Boise River.

Message Sent Successfully!

Message Failed To Send.

Send a Message to Community Engagement

Thank you for your interest in the City of Boise's Office of Community Engagement. Please use the form below to reach out to our team.