When did the San Diego County Water Authority open an office in the Imperial Valley, and what is the purpose for having an office and a staff member in the Imperial Valley? Is it because you are looking for further water transfers from the Imperial Valley?
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 full-time staff member in the Imperial Valley.
Another critical reason to have an office and staff member in the Imperial Valley was to establish and maintain better relations, again, in line with that longterm partnership. Having a Water Authority staff member in the Imperial Valley provided a conduit to share information about the Water Authority with the Imperial Valley. It was a way for the Valley to get to know the Water Authority and a way for the Water Authority to become more familiar with the challenges facing the Valley in implementing the QSA.
The QSA and the Water Transfer Agreement between IID and the Water Authority have provided a critical means by which the Water Authority has been able to ensure a reliable water supply for its member agencies. However, the Water Authority is not seeking additional water transfers from the Imperial Valley. What is critical now is for this region to work together along with other California water agencies to ensure our California water supply is upheld through this ongoing period of drought and that critical issues, like the Salton Sea, are addressed. Continuing to have an office and staff member in the Valley provides that ongoing means to work together as partners.
The “Ask Darren” page provides an opportunity for the community to ask questions pertaining to California water issues, specifically as they relate to the lower Colorado River Basin. Here, questions regarding the Quantification Settlement Agreement and the related Water Transfer Agreement, the large agriculture-to-urban water transfer of its kind in the nation, between the Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District can be addressed. The page also offers a chance to become more familiar with the Water Authority, its role in the QSA, and the steps it is taking within its service area, like developing desalination as a new water resource.
To ask a question, please fill out the form below, which will be sent electronically to Water Authority staff member Darren Simon who will do his best to respond to all questions on the “Ask Darren” page. To have your question considered, you must include your name and contact should he need to contact you for clarifications. Your name and contact will be kept private.
Questions must be kept to a 100 words. If questions include derogatory language or personal attacks on any individual, they will be discarded.