EL CENTRO, Calif. – The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors voted today to retain two communication and public outreach firms that will work with IID staff on matters related to the Quantification Settlement Agreement water transfers and Salton Sea mitigation and restoration. The board approved six-month agreements with APCO Worldwide and Diversity Consulting Group to support the district’s initiative to ensure the QSA incorporates a viable Salton Sea restoration strategy.
The board directed the general manager to retain communication support as part of his “2013 Program of Work” adopted in April and the district’s “2012 Six-Point Action Plan.” The firms add to the integrated, multi-disciplinary team of internal experts and outside advisers the IID has assembled to represent its interests in QSA matters, including litigation and the board’s effort to work with Imperial County to develop an affirmative strategy for addressing the QSA’s impacts on the Salton Sea before its decline harms the Imperial Valley.
IID also recently retained Munger, Tolles and Olson to act as counsel in partnership with Land Resource Planning Associates, a nationally recognized water rights law firm that represents the district in QSA litigation. Munger, Tolles and Olson, based in Los Angeles, brings expertise in the areas of energy and public policy.
“This board will continue to collaborate with others in the valley, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to formulate a viable solution to the significant threats to human health, agriculture and the environment posed by a declining Salton Sea,” said IID board President Matt Dessert. “Key to achieving our goal of moving beyond the QSA litigation is transparency with the public, frequent engagement with our stakeholders and sound communication with decision makers at the local, state and federal levels. These firms will help ensure IID is delivering a proactive, consistent message about our commitment to resolving the dilemma of the Salton Sea.”