(September 12, 2012. Brawley) The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors held a community outreach workshop on the Quantification Settlement Agreement at the Lions Center in Brawley Wednesday.
Charles DuMars with the Law & Resource Planning Associates was commissioned by the IID Board to come up with a Plan B to the QSA signed in 2003.
The QSA is actually a group of agreements through which IID agreed to transfer water to the urban coast for which it would be paid. Water can only be transferred if it can be done without reducing crops and if the environment of the Imperial Valley is fully protected. This guaranteed that IID only transfers water that it conserves and mitigation costs are paid for as promised by the state and the other QSA partners.
Since 2003, circumstances have changed, the most important being the state has no money for mitigation and will not cover the costs.
The IID has been able to fallow lands and transfer water to the coast, but it is still working on methods of conservation.
DuMars recommends that the IID must ensure there are funds to pay all costs of environmental mitigation, which is a top priority to ensure the quality of life in the Imperial Valley. Â It must seek those funds from all receiving benefits from the QSA, since the state will not provide funds. Â IID must also step up the pace on adoption of conservation measures, using the financial incentives available under the QSA and complete the process as soon as possible.
DuMars pointed out that if the conservation is done to the best of the IIDs ability, if it comes to a fight for the water, IID has done all it can do to provide conserved water.
DuMars said that the best scenario is to get all of the parties involved in the QSA together and renegotiate the QSA so that it is fair for everyone, because of all of the changes since its inception ten years ago.
The IID will hold another community outreach workshop in Calexico at the City Council Chambers Thursday, September 13, at 5:00 p.m.