(IID Board President explains DCP)…..The Drought Contingency Plan was requested by the Department of Interior.
The Imperial Irrigation District did not adopt a plan on the date requested by the Department. IID Board President issued a statement on the plan. He said the goal of the lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan, to reduce the shared risk of reaching critical elevations at Lake Mead by incentivizing rather than penalizing the storage of water there, is as important to the Imperial Irrigation District in 2019 as it was in 2015 when IID became engaged in the DCP process. Erik Ortega goes on to say, but a Lower Basin DCP that attempts to sidestep or work around the unique environmental challenges posed by the Salton Sea, or one that excludes IID because the other parties Can’t wait for the Sea, isn’t really a contingency plan. It is an escape hatch. He said the Metropolitan Water District proposal would take the Salton Sea and the IID out of the DCP equation by simply erasing them from the DCP itself. Friday the IID Board voted unanimously to oppose the MWD proposal. Ortega says the IID General Manager, legal counsel and staff have had very productive meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation. Ortega is optimistic they will find a path forward. He said the IID is committed to the DCP process, but the Salton Sea has to be acknowledged for what it is, an indispensable part of that package, not an invisible one.