IID sets public workshop to discuss 2013-14 water conservation measures

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 Colorado River

EL CENTRO – The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has scheduled a public workshop for Wednesday, Sept. 4 in the Condit Auditorium, El Centro, to recap the district’s water conservation activities to date in 2013 and actions considered for implementation in the year ahead. The workshop will begin at 4 p.m.

In light of the ongoing drought on the Colorado River and IID’s own water transfer obligations under the Quantification Settlement Agreement and scheduled payback to the river system through 2014, Water Department staff will review the full range of water conservation measures initiated in the last year and preview the most likely course of action to be recommended to the board in 2014.

Included in the staff presentation will be a status report on the challenging hydrology of the Colorado River system, a discussion of the upcoming calendar-year fallowing solicitation, fallowing of eligible Western Farm lands for inadvertent overrun payback, on-farm (efficiency-based) conservation, the equitable distribution of water in 2013 and key components of a retooled system conservation program.

In August, the Bureau of Reclamation announced that it plans to release 7.48 million acre-feet from Lake Powell to Lake Mead in 2014, not the customary 8.23 million acre-feet, and that the modeling it has performed on a going-forward basis shows a possible shortage condition affecting the Colorado River’s lower basin (Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico) as early as 2016. (The current elevation at Lake Mead is 1,105 feet; the water level that would trigger a shortage determination is 1,075 feet.)

Workshop presenters will be Water Department Manager Jesse Silva, Colorado River Resources Manager Tina Shields, Assistant Engineer and EDP Coordinator Ben Brock and Senior Program Manager Darren Fillmore. The presentation is expected to last about an hour. A question-and-answer period involving the board and public will immediately follow.