The Imperial Irrigation District appeared before the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento today during a public workshop seeking input on the Salton Sea Management Program and a Draft Stipulated Order.
The Draft Order is based on information that was presented to the State Water Board in a petition filed by IID in November 2014, subsequent State Water Board workshops on the Salton Sea, information and documents related to the Salton Sea and the Quantification Settlement Agreement as well as information contained in the Salton Sea Action Plan and Salton Sea Management Program that have been proposed by the Brown Administration.
The State Water Board is expected to consider a resolution to adopt the Draft Stipulated Order at a later date.
During workshop testimony, representatives from IID, Imperial County and the San Diego County Water Authority urged the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt the Draft Stipulated Order. “We have worked closely with the Brown Administration and key stakeholders to develop the Draft Order and we believe it represents the most significant advance to date at the Salton Sea,” said IID general manager Kevin Kelley.
Key reasons the agencies support the Draft Order include:
· It clearly states that the 15-year mitigation water requirement will conclude at the end of 2017. Other mitigation measures, including the four-step air quality plan, which were incorporated into Water Right Order No. 2002-0013 (revised), will proceed as planned.
· The Draft Order finds that the restoration of the Salton Sea is feasible, that the state of California will lead and coordinate management efforts at the Salton Sea serving as a catalyst whose role in advancing the cause of restoration is essential.
· It requires the state of California, through the California Natural Resources Agency, act so that there will be almost 30,000 acres of exposed playa covered by habitat and dust suppression projects by January 1, 2029.
· The California Natural Resources Agency will identify a long-term plan for the Salton Sea and will develop subsequent 10-year plans to guide projects after the initial 10-year plan is completed.
In addition to the reasons listed above, the Draft Stipulated Order provides the State Water Resources Board with continued jurisdiction over the implementation of restoration efforts at the Salton Sea and the parties, led by the California Natural Resources Agency, will report annually to the State Water Board on progress made towards the milestones in the Draft Stipulated Order.
“The Draft Order states that if the plan falls more than 20 percent behind in its obligations, the state is required to develop a cure for the deficiency. In this way, unlike the experience of the past 15 years, there will be a process for accountability as the parties implement the 10-year plan,” said Kelley.
For more information on the Draft Stipulated Order, please visit http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/