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IID comments on drought declaration

(IID releases official response)…The response is to the Governor’s proclamation Friday.

That proclamation declared a Drought State of Emergency statewide. The official response from the Imperial Irrigation District reiterates their initial comments. Imperial water supplies remain stable despite the statewide drought. The District says the declaration is not anticipated to affect the District’s Colorado River water supplies, which are defined by federal shortage criteria tied to the elevation of Lake Mead. The IID says the Colorado River benefits from an extremely large system of reservoir storage, however it is facing its own hydrologic challenge with potential shortages projected for non-California water users as soon as 2016-2017. Tina Shields, IID manager of Colorado River resources, says a drought declaration has both administrative and political value. Most importantly it puts California water users on notice that there are water supply conditions that require everyone’s awareness and participation. She said the Governor’s declaration provides additional motivation to the IID and affirms its renewed focus on pressing the state to live up to the Salton Sea restoration commitments made in support of the Quantification Settlement Agreement.