Written by George Gale Published: 26 September 2018
(The City of Calipatria the latest to support the IID)…The City Council adopted a resolution Tuesday.
The resolution supports and joins the Americus Brief to be filed by the Imperial Valley Coalition For Fair Sharing of Water in the Abatti Versus Imperial Irrigation District litigation. The litigation deals with the IID’s water rights for water distribution in Imperial County. The Abatti Lawsuit contends the District does not have the right to distribute the water and that the water rights belong to local growers. The District contends they hold the water in trust for all water users in the county. The City of Calipatria is the latest to side with the coalition and the Americus Brief they plan to file in support of the IID’s legal efforts. The Coalition says they will seek support from the County Board of Supervisors at one of their October meetings, either on the 2nd or the 9th.
The Imperial Irrigation District is working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the other Colorado River Basin States to create a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). Below is a clip from the Imperial Valley Press regarding IID and the DCP:
IID representatives, along with members of the various Colorado River water contractors, on Sept. 17 and 18 participated in a basin states meeting in Las Vegas hosted by the bureau to explore the creation of a basin-wide DCP.
“I attended the Colorado River meeting in Las Vegas to discuss the drought contingency plan process with the two basins and seven states that are in this process and identify critical next steps,” IID Board President James C. Hanks, Division 3, said during the regular board meeting Tuesday afternoon. “These meetings were led by Reclamation Commissioner Brenda W. Burman, and I can report that while there is still no DCP, there is considerable interest on the part of the Bureau of Reclamation … in completing one before the year’s end.”
IID is exploring the creation of a DCP in concert with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California that would expand how much water it can store behind Hoover Dam in Lake Mead. The DCP would only be approved by IID if it were to ensure that such water can be withdrawn on demand, that the authority to unilaterally preside over local agricultural water conservation methods are solely the purview of IID and that such an agreement would not put the Salton Sea at further risk of drying up due to lower water inflow.
The following clip is from an article in The Desert Review, posted on their website on September 28.
IID Director Jim Hanks mentioned during the August 27 meeting in Brawley that the organizations needed to be more careful in their presentations.
“This is why you saw a lot of defensive people here,” Hanks said, referring to the majority of the people in the room. “You were talking about the drinking water, and then you were talking about water in the canals that run off from the fields. Runoff from the fields are not in the canals, those are in the drains.”
The lack of knowledge of Comite Civico investigators of the details of water delivery and water waste from fields led many to doubt the scientific expertise of those gathering information.
The organizations said they planned on using citizen-scientists to provide the data.
IID Water Manager Tina Shields said she questioned the methodology of collecting water samples.
Shields said the proposed study by Comite Civico and the University of Washington failed to employ trained experts to collect accurate samples, and that without proper training, the collectors could even self-contaminate the samples.
The IID went further, claiming the organizations sought to usurp the scientific work local agencies were tasked to conduct. The IID charged that Comite Civico has failed to produce a scope of work for their study.
Many people who attended the informational meetings held in late August questioned the organization staff’s apparent lack of any formal scientific training.
Holtville resident and former county supervisor Wally Leimgruber is encouraging Imperial County residents to back the Imperial Irrigation
District’s appeal to litigation he argues may jeopardize the district’s authority over precious Colorado River water.
“As a property owner with over 28 years in the farming industry and now involved in land-use consulting, I am respectfully requesting you join with me and other business and civic leaders in filing an amicus brief in support of IID’s position in the appeal,” Leimgruber wrote in a letter he is sharing with county residents.
… Meanwhile, members of the El Centro City Council at its Sept. 4 meeting voiced support for Leimgruber when he presented his group’s position.
“Without access to water there is no reason for Imperial Valley to exist,” Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker said, commenting from a remote location by
speakerphone. “Water must be held in trust for future generations. I personally endorse this amicus brief.”
Also offering encouragement, Council Member Efrain Silva said, “Without water Imperial Valley becomes the next Death Valley. Wally, you have my full support and we should go as far as we can go.”
The following excerpt is from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. You can read the complete article here.
Not by much: Colorado River system to stay out of shortfall status through 2019
As news reports have indicated, the “August 2018 24-Month Study” of the Colorado River system, released Wednesday by the Bureau of Reclamation, tells at least two big water stories for the Southwest.
For one, it illustrates that the Lower Basin will not be in a shortage for 2019. According to the Bureau’s “most likely” scenario, Lake Mead will finish 2018 about four and a half feet above the “shortage declaration” cutoff, which is 1,075 feet in elevation.
A shortage declaration would trigger a set of criteria in the 2007 interim guidelines calling for Arizona’s deliveries of Colorado River water to be reduced by 320,000 acre-feet.
In addition to those anticipated conditions – inspired, largely, by decades of drought and a chronic structural deficit in annual Lower Basin deliveries – the 2018 August study tells us much about the complex relationship between the system’s two great reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
Water You Talking About? Climate change is worsening water woes across the world, and these complex problems require solutions that cross borders and go beyond politics. Quartz and the Texas Observer are partnering on a nine-part series, Shallow Waters, that examines how the US and Mexico are working together to confront controversial water issues along the border, sometimes overcoming and sometimes succumbing to political tensions. The first story introduces two key American and Mexican negotiators, and their counterparts in the Middle East who face a similar struggle to cooperate over shared resources. (Introduction; First story: Quartz or Texas Observer)
The estimated cost of the Delta tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to re-engineer the troubled hub of California’s water network, has jumped to nearly $20 billion when accounting for inflation.
Tunnels backers say the higher cost reflects the impact from inflation over 16 years, not cost over-runs or design changes, and isn’t expected to hurt the project’s ability to move ahead.
One of the most surprising findings in the July PPIC survey is the strong support for an $8.9 billion state water bond among California likely voters (58%). Support for the bond―Proposition 3 on the November ballot―comes close on the heels of California voters passing a $4.1 billion state water and parks bond in June. What’s going on?
Majorities of California likely voters across partisan and demographic groups and the state’s regions say that water supply is a big problem in their part of California. Water supply and drought were the number one environmental problem named by likely voters in the survey (24%). Since Governor Brown took office in 2011, water supply and drought have been among the top environmental issues named by likely voters, and since 2014, together they have been named the most important environmental issue facing the state.