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Opinion: Importing Water to Save the Salton Sea Can Work. Let’s Prove and Do It Now

The Engagement Committee of the Salton Sea Management Plan (SSMP) met June 17 on Zoom, though participating community members were neither seen or heard; they could only write comments and questions.

About 90% of the meeting consisted of management reporting on small plans to control dust and build habitat that still require federal permits, which will delay construction for another year. Also, the SSMP has approved a $19 million dollar pilot project for the North Lake.

New Funds to Help Restore the Salton Sea

Despite pandemic related fiscal challenges, work on the Salton sea still remains a priority. Especially for Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, from the 56th district, who helped get funds of over 47-million dollars for new river and Salton sea mitigation projects.

Local Leaders Discuss Impacts of Water Conservation Laws

Four elected officials representing area water districts expressed frustration with state laws aimed at water conservation during an American Liberty Forum of Ramona informational meeting Saturday, June 27.

Roughly 50 attendees gathered at Ramona Mainstage to hear the “Water Regulations Today and Tomorrow” presenters discuss the pending impacts of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668, which were signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown in May 2018.

IID, County Transitioning Workforces Back in House

Although COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket locally, both Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District have started transitioning from telecommuting to having their employees return to their usual work sites.

California Legislature Votes to Keep Funding for Salton Sea Project in State Budget Proposal

The California legislature voted Monday to keep the Salton Sea in its budget proposal sent to Governor Gavin Newsom. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said he’s pleased the legislature found a way to allocate some funding for the Salton Sea despite the fiscal challenges created by the pandemic.

IID and Farmer Michael Abatti Square Off Over the Imperial Valley’s Water

Water is power in California’s Imperial Valley, and a years-long fight over allocations from the Colorado River to the agriculture-heavy region landed back in court on Friday. Attorneys representing local farmers and the Imperial Irrigation District squared off in front of a three-judge panel at the state appellate court level over a water-rights lawsuit expected to be decided in 90 days.

CVWD Approves $376 Million Budget, No Rate Increases

The Coachella Valley Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday voted to approve a  $376 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget notably will not include rate increases even though CVWD — which has a service area of roughly 1,000 square miles and includes about 108,000 homes and businesses — had planned to implement one this year. The new math comes after the water district ripped up its previously proposed budget in May due to the economic slowdown caused by the response to the coronavirus.

Oral Arguments in IID’s Abatti Appeal Set for Friday

A three-member Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeals panel at 9 a.m. Friday will listen to oral arguments in the Imperial Irrigation District’s appeal of a 2017 Superior Court ruling in favor of former IID director and local farmer Mike Abatti on water rights.

Opinion: County Farm Bureaus Innovate During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place protocols and safety concerns disrupted rural communities and markets for agricultural products. Around California, county Farm Bureaus responded with innovative solutions intended to help their members ensure safety of themselves, their families and their employees, and to promote and sell crops and commodities in new and rapidly changing conditions.

Here are three examples among many, showing how county Farm Bureaus in California have supported their members and their communities.

IID Begins Third Wave of Sheltering Employees at Work

Imperial Irrigation District extends its voluntary on-site shelter-in-place program at designated critical facilities for a core group of employees.

In the third phase, 10 employees will work 12-hour shifts over 21 consecutive days at IID facilities 24 hours a day.

The sheltered employees will continue to maintain the district’s essential water and energy operations for customers who rely on these services in the harsh desert climate of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys.