EL CENTRO – With less than 10 months remaining of mitigation water to the Salton Sea, the Imperial Irrigation District and Imperial County filed a motion with the State Water Resources Control Board requesting that an evidentiary hearing on the district’s 2014 Salton Sea petition be held by July 17, 2017.
In its motion, IID and the County also requested that the California Natural Resources Agency be required to submit a final Salton Sea Management Program by Oct. 1, 2017 that includes:
· Acreage performance standards for each calendar year from 2018 through 2025;
· Proposed permit streamlining actions;
· An adaptive management plan for implementation;
· Identification of funds and actions to obtain additional funding for implementation of the plan; and
· A statement affirming the state’s obligation to restore the Salton Sea with specific oversight actions by the State Water Board to ensure implementation of the plan.
The motion by IID and Imperial County coincides with the state’s anticipated release of its draft Salton Sea Management Program that outlines restoration activities for the next 10 years.
“The latest version of the draft Salton Sea Management Program constitutes real progress toward the 10-year roadmap for restoration that we have been asking for,” said IID General Manager Kevin Kelley. “At the same time, the motion we have filed with the State Water Board can serve as a complement in reaching our shared goal, which is a smaller but sustainable Salton Sea.”
Approximately 48,000 acres of playa is expected to be exposed over the next decade, creating a public health hazard and endangering the wildlife that depend on the sea. By year’s end, IID will have delivered up to 800,000 acre-feet of mitigation water since 2003 as part of the strategy to replace water to the sea under the water transfers authorized by the Quantification Settlement Agreement.
Attached is a copy of the motion and accompanying letter.