EL CENTRO – Imperial Irrigation District officials are supporting steps taken by the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt emergency water conservation regulations designed to bolster efforts throughout the state to reduce urban water use by 20 percent.
“These regulations come at a time when Governor Brown’s January call for voluntary conservation seems to have fallen short,” said Tina Shields, IID’s manager of Colorado River resources. “The statewide regulations target outdoor urban water users – and identify specific steps urban water suppliers should take to reduce outdoor water demands if they have not already implemented their own water shortage contingency plans with mandatory conservation measures that would achieve similar reductions.”
The emergency regulations serve as a public reminder that water supply conditions throughout most of the state are at serious levels. While the current California drought does not directly affect the Imperial Valley or IID’s Colorado River water supplies, officials from the district are calling on local residents to do their part to implement best management practices and conservation measures to the extent they are practical in our desert climate.
“Reservoir levels in Southern California aren’t as depleted as those in the central and northern portions of the state; however, the governor asked all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent,” Shields said. “These new regulations require urban water agencies to flex their administrative muscle to fulfill that challenge as reservoir volumes continue to decline.”
IID will continue to do its part by aggressively implementing Quantification Settlement Agreement conservation projects that comprise the largest agriculture-to-urban transfer program in the nation. In 2014, the district will transfer over 300,000 acre-feet to the urban coast while also providing 90,000 acre-feet of mitigation deliveries to the Salton Sea, for a total of nearly 400,000 acre-feet of conservation.
The adoption of these regulations also provides additional motivation to IID and reaffirms its commitment to press the state to live up to the Salton Sea restoration commitments made in support of the Quantification Settlement Agreement. The proposed Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative will preserve the long-term viability of the Quantification Settlement Agreement and ensure that conserved water is not derailed by environmental or health concerns at the Salton Sea.
For tips or ideas on how to better conserve water at home, residential water users are encouraged to contact their urban water suppliers or visit www.saveourwater.com or www.ca.gov/drought.