Water, Energy and Economic Development

Intriguing comments by Brian Brady, general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, during a hearing last week before the House Water and Power subcommittee held in Las Vegas:

Rural areas like ours have their own plans for the future growth and development of their respective regions. Transfer too much water and you destroy your ability to grow the local economy. In Imperial County, renewable energy holds great promise for economic expansion. The county is already the second leading generator of geothermal energy in the nation and is poised to double that generation in the next five years. Having a firm supply of industrial water for these and other renewable energy projects was the impetus for IID to adopt an interim industrial water supply policy that dedicates 25,000 acre-feet for this purpose over the next decade.

25,000 acre feet is not a lot of water, pretty much a rounding error in the IID’s estimated 2.8 million acre feet of use this year. But it’s a reminder that the growing demand on the Lower Colorado has to include energy production, along with the more traditional ag and city use.

One Comment

Comments are closed.