Ask Darren


San Diego County Water AuthorityQSA Outreach Coordinator

Darren Simon is the Water Authority’s QSA Outreach Coordinator. He joined the Water Authority in 2008 to oversee the Water Authority’s Outreach Office in the Imperial Valley. He works closely on issues related to the QSA with the goals of ensuring open communications in a region that includes the Imperial Valley and San Diego, and a better understanding of the QSA—its purpose, successes and ongoing issues. He is based in the Imperial Valley, at 203 S. Waterman Avenue, Suite A, and is available to give presentations and address questions. Contact him at dsimon@sdcwa.org or at 760.337.1386

Question

I enjoy the Community Spotlight page on this website. I look forward to the stories each month and have learned a lot about the people you have featured and what they do in our communities. But I am wondering if it is possible to suggest people who would also make great features? Is there a way to get a name to you? Thank you.

Answer

Appreciate your question and your kind words regarding the Community Spotlight page. This page has become a central feature of the website, and I think it is a very important one because it gives me a chance to highlight deserving people in the Imperial Valley and tell their story. And that way, San Diego-area readers also have a chance to learn about people in the Valley. To answer your question, yes, there are several ways to nominate someone to be featured on the page. First, at the bottom of the page itself is a section where you can nominate someone, and it will go directly to me, Darren Simon. You can also send me an email at dsimon@sdcwa.org. Finally, feel free to call me at my El Centro office, 760.337.1386. I will try to get to your nomination as quickly as possible.

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Question

When did the San Diego County Water Authority open an office in the Imperial Valley?

Answer

Great question. The Water Authority opened an office in the Imperial Valley in 2005, a couple of years after the signing of the Quantification Settlement Agreement. It was a critical time in the implementation of the QSA. A number of issues were taking place then. For one, the Water Authority, the State and the Imperial Irrigation District were hard at work on developing the All-American Canal Lining Project, a critical component of the QSA. Additionally, the QSA was facing legal challenges. Then, the Water Authority and IID were working through the implementation of a fallowing program to provide mitigation water to the Salton Sea as well as to meet the early conservation and transfer goals. With so many issues and a need for the Water Authority and IID to work closely together as longterm partners, it made sense for the Water Authority to have an office and a

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Question

There is a lot of talk about something called drought contingency planning as a way to help maintain Lake Mead levels, but I hear it would require California to conserve more water than it already does under the QSA. Can you share what you know about this new proposal?

Answer

First off, there are a couple of points that need to be made clear. The Water Authority has not been a participant in the drought contingency planning (DCP) negotiations. The participating agencies are the Section 5 Contractors on the river, including Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, Palo Verde Water District, and representatives from Arizona and Nevada. California’s Colorado River Board and the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) are also participating. The second point is that no agreement has been reached and no agreement is likely to be reached until 2017, if at all. While negotiations are ongoing, the parties have not yet resolved all issues.

Ultimately, the DCP is being touted by the DOI as a way of managing the river by enacting measures that exceed those negotiated previously under the Colorado River 2007 Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Reservoir

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