IID unveils 2017-18 On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program

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The All American Canal. File photo.

EL CENTRO — Imperial Irrigation District (IID) staff presented the 2017-2018 On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program (OFECP) payment rate and solicitation process to the board at its regular meeting on Tuesday. The board voted to approve the program.

Under the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA), IID will transfer conserved water to the San Diego County Water Authority. The target volume for 2017 is 100,000 acre-feet, ramping up to 130,000 acre-feet in 2018, 160,000 acre-feet in 2019, and 193,000 acre-feet in 2020.

To achieve these targets, staff will be initiating the 2017-2018 solicitation for IID’s OFECP to allow for the contracting of fields with crops that roll into the 2018 calendar year.

In 2016, the OFECP generated 138,585 acre-feet of conserved water with many past proposals for crops submitted without any solicitation announcement.

Staff asked the board to approve the existing $285 per acre-foot conservation incentive payment rate, which has been the rate for the previous five OFECPs. $34.2 million will be paid out to growers in the 2017 calendar year.

Under the current program, staff expects to fulfill the QSA water transfer commitments in the years to come.

The 2016-2017-solicitation period will close effective September 30. IID requests that all applications for this period be submitted as soon as possible.