Colorado River Water Transfers

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Meeting our environmental commitments

As part of its commitment to the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003, the Water Authority supports environmental mitigation projects in the Salton Sea Basin, such as the completion of the Wister Sport Fishery Pond in Imperial County.

The project, completed in December, was designed to replace sport fishery resources lost when the All-American and Coachella canals were lined to reduce leakage and transfer 80,000 acre-feet of conserved water annually to San Diego County. The sport fishery pond is on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wister Management Area north of Niland at the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.

Major components of Wister project include a 50-acre main pond stocked with fish, an adjacent five-acre sedimentation forebay, associated equipment for water supply and drainage, fish habitat structures, fishing peninsulas, and a boat ramp. The state will operate and maintain the pond in perpetuity through endowments provided by the Water Authority.

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Lower Colorado conservation program celebrated

The Water Authority helped commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program in April during a tour of conservation sites along the lower Colorado River. The Water Authority is one of 57 partners in the program, which was created in 2005 to balance the use of the Colorado River resources with the conservation of native species and their habitats.

The program works toward the recovery of species protected by the Endangered Species Act. The 50-year program accommodates current water diversions and power production, and optimizes opportunities for future water and power development.

The program area extends along 400 miles of the lower Colorado River from Lake Mead to the Mexico border. It calls for the creation of more than 8,100 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife species and the production of more than 1.2 million native fish to augment existing populations. During the program’s first decade, 11 conservation areas covering more than 4,300 acres were established.