The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the Water Transfer Agreement between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District will be the subject of a public hearing at 5 p.m. April 4 at the Water Authority's administrative headquarters in San Diego, 4677 Overland Drive.
“This Transfer Agreement is critical for the San Diego region, Imperial Valley, and indeed, the entire state,” said Water Authority general manager Maureen A. Stapleton. “It will add diversity and another cost-effective resource to the Water Authority’s water supply portfolio. At the same time, it will infuse approximately $50 million annually into the Imperial Valley economy and help ensure the valley's water rights are protected.
“Additionally, the Transfer Agreement is the cornerstone of California’s plan to live within its Colorado River water allocation; its implementation will help prevent immediate cutbacks in the state’s water supply.”
As a major step in diversifying its water supply, in 1998 the San Diego County Water Authority entered into an agreement to transfer conserved water from the Imperial Irrigation District to the Water Authority.
An Environmental Impact Report is required to look at all alternatives in accomplishing a project – in this case a water transfer – including worst-case scenarios. The transfer DEIR identified and examined various project alternatives including a no-project alternative, transfers of between 130,000 and 300,000 acre-feet per year, and conservation methods that include on-farm efficiency measures, system improvements, and fallowing. The Water Authority is open to discussing mutually beneficial changes in the agreement that will help facilitate the transfer. Any changes must have the blessing of the Water Authority’s partner, the IID.
The EIR was issued for public review Jan. 18, and the public comment period remains open until April 26. The Water Authority has copies of the Executive Summary that can be obtained by calling their Public Affairs Department at (858) 522-6705.
A full copy of the EIR is available to the public through several sources: http://www.is.ch2m.com/iidweb/current/;
• Public libraries are listed below:
San Diego Central, 820 E Street, San Diego Carlsbad, 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad National City, 200 East 12th Street, National City El Cajon, 201 East Douglas Avenue, El Cajon
• Directly from the Imperial Irrigation District. (Request CD, executive summary or bound manual by contacting Elston Grubaugh, 760 339-9109)
The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to almost three million county residents.
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