The Imperial Irrigation District board will take up a resolution this afternoon drawing a sharp line. If action isn’t taken to deal with the Salton Sea, the historic early-2000s deal that attempted to untangle California’s Colorado River overallocation (the “Quantification Settlement Agreement” or QSA) “will have been breached”:
The full text of the resolution and accompanying memo is here.
I’m sure that San Diego County Water Authority is watching this very closely! The QSA helped catalyze the water sharing agreement between IID and SDCWA, and the transfer of water now comprises 40% of SDCWA’ss water supply! See page 63 in https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/WaterShareReport.pdf
What? Kumbaya might be failing again? Just the threat of a breach is the threat of a fight, is it not?
Yes, as careful readers of my last book, Water is For Fighting Over, will recall, I’ve been writing about this conflict for a while: “[t]he state’s failure (to keep its Salton Sea commitments) created the risk by the early 2010s that the biggest water-conservation agreement in basin history could fall apart. ‘We’re pretty good at hiring attorneys over the QSA,’ Shields, the Imperial Irrigation District’s water manager, told the audience at a water law conference in the spring of 2015.”
This is all about positioning. With the up coming re-up of the 2007 interim guidelines, Salton sea, increased ICS, and the ownership of conserved water (ability to profit) in the balance.