California Passing from Water Crisis to Water Collapse


(PANIC) – What does this mean for Imperial Valley ?
letters to the editor

 What happens when the country’s most populous state and 7th largest economy in the world faces a water collapse? More importantly, what happens to the Imperial Valley which has top priority water, when it becomes the Last Oasis? I believe with excellent people and evolved strategic management, this tragedy could become Desert Miracle Two. (The Pioneers are counting on us to deliver.)
The Imperial Valley is at an important junction as a community. Either we immediately prioritize a new trajectory ( IID PETITION ) focused on optimizing our values and assets – a functional future with hope and prosperity as mission;  or by continuing the QSA-driven past, having a giant sucking sound removing the lifeblood of this valley as the QSA continues at an accelerated pace.  This deceptive QSA robs the valley of such a future.


The past 15 years has been a nightmare and only now is the Benson Board responding in a dynamic fashion. John Benson, President Steve Benson’s dad had started a new vision in 1984, which foresaw such a future but was blocked by extremely poor cooperation of some citizens. Today, it is do or die. Forty million people want Imperial Valley’s (170,000 citizens) assets.
What will determine which path we take is our collective narrative. It is the story we tell ourselves – who are we? What do we value? Are we willing to think for our future?    
Under the old narrative, the deceptive one is taking us toward disaster; powerful people and interests remain profoundly  in control. 
Collaborations with  more sophisticated folks who need our water, has created complacent conditions to take the easy route and to sit in a pot of water on slow burn, which would get the opposite reaction if one were dropped into boiling water, which it is presently!  With the Benson board utilizing the superior advanced thinking and handling of the law firm,Simmons, Olson and Myles, the IID with County just won an impressive first move to change our future. Momentum must be gained with a team effort and strategic management of this new Petition Initiative 24-7 – as the IID is out manned 1000 to one. A continuous flow of new ideas, with tactics and strategy must become the New Normal (new for a 100-year-old irrigation district).  
What does a water collapse and panic look like? You don’t want to know!  But you must anticipate and get prepared immediately. The cause is a Western Institution failure to plan for long term drought. In a panic -there is no information… answers….no leadership.
It becomes a mob and a crowd, every man for himself. Remember, you have what they want. What is the answer? Having anticipated such events for 30 years, I would suggest serious consideration for an Imperial Valley solution to their problem on our terms and conditions. One example would be  EWAP (Emergency Water Assurance Plan) This would protect the Valley water rights, create much needed cash flow, maximize the value of our assets, and solve “their” problem. (AWRI has suggested such a plan.)
This is not only an opportunity, but an obligation for evolved management of this once-in-a-life time situation.Who will lead? Everyone must raise above past obstacles and stale thinking.This is a new challenge and I expect it could be the great vision I have always believed this Valley deserves with synergy and unity. Choose yourself, we can do it now. (This little Valley can be an answer to Big Picture issues – The American Dream.)
Tom Havens
American Water Resources, Inc