EL CENTRO — The Imperial Irrigation District recently submitted a petition to the State Water Resources Control Board asking the state to exercise their authority over the nation’s largest agricultural-to-urban water transfer. A health and financial disaster is pending for our county if the State does not uphold their guarantee of mitigating the receding Salton Sea through their contractual promise which both parties counted on when they signed the QSA.
Two days after the County and the IID announced their lawsuit settlement, the state board scheduled a workshop. The County and the IID are partnering on a joint presentation to the Water Board to ensure the State hears a unified message from the Imperial Valley.
To emphasize the united message, and to add extra political pressure on the state, the County is circulating a petition to the general public to sign and be presented before the Water Board and is urging the public to start a letter writing campaign.
“Everyone that is interested and concerned, and wants to be part of the solution to the Salton Sea, go to our website and sign the petition.” Ralph Cordova, County CEO, spoke on Tuesday.
Cordova explained their strategy on the IID’s petition. “A petition was filled by the IID, the County is supporting that. We are asking for a stakeholder meeting to find a solution to the Salton Sea. The solution is not only a physical solution, which we have all agreed it needs to be a smaller, sustainable Sea, but it also includes funding. There is no reason to come up with a really good plan, if we can’t fund it. “
Cordova said they had a massive county-wide outreach, which included health officials and organizations, schools, vegetable growers, COLAB, chambers, cities, and other agencies to write letters and sign the petition. The County also is planning on traveling to Sacramento on the 18th of March with official heads, such as Dr. Stephen W. Munday, health officer for Imperial County, Brad Poiriez, Air Pollution Control Officer, Connie Valenzuela, Agricultural Commissioner, and Roger Shintaku, Executive Director of the Salton Sea Authority to stress the county’s dire predicament without the State’s promised help.
“We need to get the word out,” Chairman of the Board, Ryan Kelley emphasized. “We number 180,000 in this county, there are 1,800,000 who don’t see the petition the way we do.”
“Two days after we settled (with the IID), the State Board scheduled the workshop and started the process for us to go forward,” Ryan Kelley said about the progress. “Get you neighbors, your family and your friends to sign the petition as well.”
The State Water Resources control board has scheduled a public workshop regarding the status of the Salton Sea for Wednesday, March 18th in Sacramento.
Submission of written comments must be submitted by 12 noon, on Wednesday, March 11 to commentletters@waterboards,ca.gov . Please indicate in the subject line: “Comment Letter: Salton Sea”
To sign the petition on line, go to the Imperial County home page or http://co.imperial.ca.us/announcements/PDFs/petition_sign.pdf