IID Board gets update on Water Conservation and Transfer Program

Jesse Silva, Water Department Manager, addressing the IID Board

EL CENTRO – At the regular meeting of the Imperial Irrigation Board of Directors on Tuesday, April 2, the Board was updated on the Water Conservation and Transfer Program.

Jesse Silva, Water Department Manager, gave the update that was committed to by General Manager Kevin Kelley at the March 19 Board meeting.

The status of the IID-San Diego Water Authority Water Conservation and Transfer Program was discussed with regard to the IID System and On-Farm elements.

It is estimated that over 640,000 Acre Feet (AF) of water is being lost, 210,000 AF of water in the IID System due to spills and seepage and 433,000 AF if water On-Farm due to tail water and leaching.

Silva explained that it is thought that 120,000 to 130,000 AF could be conserved in the IID System and 170,000 to 180,000 AF could be conserved On-Farm.

On-Farm conservation is ongoing with new ideas being explored by the Water Conservation Committee.

Fallowing will continue until 2017.

The cost of the proposed conservation would be approximately $185/AF to the IID System and $250/AF to the On-Farm conservation (2006 dollars).

Bids have already been received for the approved portion of the project to update the SCADA system, install flow meters, and acquire laptops for the Zanjeros to monitor spills, measure deliveries, and manage canals better.

The proposed work to be done in 2013 is to design 7 lateral interties that could save 5,000 AF a year at a cost of $70/AF.

Also, it is proposed to design and construct a new reservoir on the West Side Main Canal that could save 3,000 AF a year at a cost of $150/AF.

Other measures proposed are automated gates, lining of the East Highline Canal and portions of the West Side Main and Central Main Canals.

A finance plan for implementation would be needed for the projects.

Silva said, “It is imperative that these proposals be implemented ASAP to conserve the water for the QSA. These first measures are the easiest and quickest ways to conserve water at the lowest cost to the District.”  

The Board will consider the proposals at a future meeting.




  1. Human consumption of water has gone beyond the thing of watchfulness and has, instead, entered an area of vast concern producing water conservation resources of paramount concern to everybody on a planet. At its most basic, water conservation strives to offer resources that the average homeowner can utilize and thus become part of the product or service rather than remaining component with the problem.”

    Most recently released blog post coming from our own internet page

  2. 2013 budget approved the end of March, GM’s 2013 work plan considered the end of April, water conservation work to be done in 2013 still under evaluation……-despite a new BOD anybody see business as usual? Still a mis directed focus of the Board inward on the business operation and conflicts of interests and the unquailfied burdening business down. The Board’s focus belongs outward on directing vision, policy, strategy, GM search………….ENHANCING AND ENFORCING IID’S GOVERNANCE POLICY IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE BUSINESS SOLUTION. Time to get a professional GM in to transform the business operation from one of reactive incompetent cronyism to one of proactive competent management. We don’t have to invent the wheel on water conservation. Look north to Oakdale, San Joaquin and other irrigation districts ahead of the water conservation curve for instance. Collaborate, think and consider best practices and research other successful programs! Let’s get er done!!!

    • be careful girlfriend. speaking out is no longer the thing to do. the iid is now on course to go somewhere. just not sure where.

      • You are very wise desertrek and perhaps I should take your advice and kill myself off in the script. The creative thing about soap operas is that characters can come back again from the dead. I am perhaps overly obsessed with productivity and the delivery of cost effective and equitable services from our publicly owned water and electric utility to ratepayers. But I know the inefficiency and ineffectiveness and hundreds of millions of dollars continue to be lost, stolen and wasted from our poorest of the poor communities. Good advice however and I will seriously consider it. Perhaps a pregnancy and moving to another desert island with my homeboy is a creative ending?

    • What’s really funny about the water districts up north that you mentioned is that they are all now being run (and run well) by former IID employees….

      • Yes run very very well Charlie. And isn’t that the truth Charlie like the Chargers our business culture and “circus like business environment” chase good players away and they do very well wherever they land. Check out the two water districts to the north I mentioned- state of the art water conservation in initial process and now bailing out more distressed surrounding districts selling them water at $100 AF. Jesse Silva is talking “quick, cheap and easy” but should’nt we be thinking and considering effective?

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