LA offers to supply water instead of IID to get Colorado River drought plan across the finish line
Wochit With a Monday deadline looming, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has offered to break an impasse on a seven-state Colorado River drought contingency package by contributing necessary water from its own reserves on behalf of the Imperial Irrigation District.
We would make both IID’s and Metropolitan’s water contributions," Kightlinger said.
But Reclamation Commissioner Burman told all parties last month that if they didn’t finalize the drought plans by March 4, she would act, including possibly imposing mandatory cuts in water supplies in coming years.
IID Vice President James Hanks, who has been an outspoken critic of the federal deadline, went further, saying in an email, "The IID board, in the form of an official action at a public held meeting, has stated its position.
The IID staff has continued to make progress on the Drought Contingency Plan as directed.
Metropolitan would be at greater risk of having rationing imposed on its urban supplies than its rural neighbor to the south, because its place in line for water from the river supplies comes after IID’s.
IID has poured significant resources into its effort to get Salton Sea funding.
In 2016, he said it was Metropolitan who threatened to hold up the drought contingency plan until they received assurances that federal and state officials would throw their backing behind the agency’s efforts to guarantee funding and water supply from an unrelated California Delta water project proposal.
The drought contingency plans, if completed, would keep about 2.1 million acre feet of water in the Colorado River system.
He thinks the Farm Bill, the same source from which IID is seeking funds for the Salton Sea, could be an option.