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 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.