Imperial Valley Ag Remains Strong Despite Challenging Times

An image of the 2024 Crop Report Plus cover from the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. The Crop Report Plus study examines agriculture’s overall contributions to the Imperial County economy.

Recently, the Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office (ICACO) released its 2024 Crop Report Plus document, which measures the impact—direct, indirect and induced (all terms pertinent to the report)—that agriculture has on the county’s economy. The Crop Report Plus is produced about every three years and is in addition to the county’s annual Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report. In short, the Crop Report Plus takes a deeper dive into agriculture’s broader contribution to the local economy, going beyond crop production values and employment numbers (direct) by also exploring local inter-industry, business-to-business supplier purchases (indirect), and local consumption spending by employees (induced). This is the third in a series of Crop Report Plus documents released—the first two were released in

Read More

The Salton Sea—An Important Part of the Colorado River’s History and Future

An image of a vegetation enhancement project at the Salton Sea led by the Quantification Settlement Agreement Joint Powers Authority (QSA JPA) of which the San Diego County Water Authority is a partnering agency with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), the Coachella Valley Water District, and the state. The work of the QSA JPA is separate but complementary to the state’s restoration efforts led by the California Natural Resources Agency. Photo courtesy of IID.

In the ongoing saga that is the Colorado River, the Salton Sea has certainly found its place as an important piece of the river’s story. The sea, an approximately 365-square mile inland lake, crosses two counties, Imperial and Riverside, is home to small communities in both counties (Salton City, Bombay Beach, Desert Shores and Mecca), and to an important California tribe, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla. The Salton Sea basin has been filled over

Read More

A Significant River Milestone Was Reached This Month

An image of Lake Mead taken in March 2024. Photo by Dennis Davis, water resources specialist for the San Diego County Water Authority.

Though it occurred without much fanfare or media coverage, a significant milestone was reached on May 6 in the Colorado River’s near-term management when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) signed the Record of Decision (ROD) to guide river operations through 2026. Though an important step, it was exactly what was anticipated: Reclamation approved the plan submitted by the Lower Basin to conserve 3 million acre-feet (MAF) of water through 2026 to help the river. While the ROD simply confirmed Reclamation’s intent to implement the Lower Basin Plan when it identified the plan for near-term actions on the river as the preferred alternative in March, the significance of this latest milestone is worth a discussion.

First, a bit of background is in order (though many

Read More