EL CENTRO – At their regular meeting of Tuesday, October 22, the IID Board of Directors approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Imperial County, the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (APCD), and the IID concerning Salton Sea Stabilization and Restoration.
The MOU is to ensure that the IID, the County, and the APCD are in the optimal relationship for future efforts concerning the Salton Sea.
Although there have been threats of litigation in the past, the entities have been meeting in an effort to set aside differences and work toward the same goal of restoration of the Salton Sea.
The MOU is a legal mechanism for embracing principals that both the County and the IID desire for an improved environment in which restoration of the Salton Sea is the focal point for protection of the environment of the Imperial Valley. It also embodies the goals of restoring the Salton Sea to protect the Imperial Valley, the water rights held in trust by the IID, and fulfillment of the promises made to the Valley under the Quantification Settlement Agreement.
“The IID owns approximately 120 thousand acres of land in and around the Salton Sea,” said IID General Manager Kevin Kelley. “This also just happens to be the most interesting geothermal resource at the Salton Sea. There is about 2000 megawatts of known geothermal resource in the Salton Sea area. It is estimated that 1700 megawatts of that are on IID owned lands. If the initiative goes forward, the assets the IID controls on behalf of its users and the public is worth nothing unless or until it is developed. If it is developed under this initiative, the Board will be doing the greatest service to the region in terms of sheer economic development that has ever been done, outside of farming.”
Director James Hanks said, “It’s also a two edged sword. If it isn’t developed, it becomes exposed playa. This is a win/win for ratepayers. The revenue from the geothermal will enable the IID to do system improvement without putting growers at risk in the event of the failure of the QSA.”
The MOU was approved unanimously.