The Desert Sun’s Janet Wilson has an important update on progress toward a Colorado River water use reduction plan – the poorly named “Drought Contingency Plan”:
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. It’s not help that IID is seeking, but Metropolitan general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said he had no choice.
Now that Arizona finally seems to have its act together, the Imperial Irrigation District has become the lone holdout in piecing together the DCP. Behind the scenes, Met has been putting together its own Plan B: a DCP in which Met makes all the California contributions itself rather than having the deal depend on 250,000 acre feet from IID.
This suggests something fascinating. After some real struggles in the early 2000s as Met was forced to reduce its water use as California cut its Colorado River water use from 5-plus million acre feet per year to 4.4 million acre feet per year, Met is now acting like it thinks it has plenty of water – or at least, enough to shoulder the DCP burden without Imperial’s help.