Updates & Reviews
An Ambitious Plan to Restore the Salton Sea
Imperial Irrigation District, County Launch Joint Effort
The September 2015 Family Farm "Water Review" discusses Imperial Irrigation District's efforts to restore California's Salton Sea. In taking the next steps to avert the impending demise of the Salton Sea, eventual public health crisis and spur carbon-free energy development for California, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors earlier this year released a framework document that provides a comprehensive vision and specific actions in support of its Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative.
A joint effort between IID and Imperial County, the initiative is a multi-phased approach to Salton Sea restoration – the first phase being the development of a plan for an incremental restoration approach that will bridge the gap between current conditions and longer-range Salton Sea restoration planning measures.
The initiative includes construction of additional habitat in designated areas as funds become available and construction of an infrastructure backbone that promotes development of renewable energy in areas of exposed dried lakebed, or “playa”. It also addresses habitat requirements for the endangered desert pupfish, provides water, power and access roads for habitat and promotes air quality mitigation land uses around the sea.
The 2011 Irrigation Show and Innovations in Irrigation Education Conference-hosted by the Irrigation Association (IA) - is the industry event you can't afford to miss. Taking place at the San Diego Convention Center in California, November 3-8, 2011, the Irrigation Show is the only national trade show for irrigation industry professionals. The Irrigation Show features more than 300 exhibitors and 6,000 attendees, with plenty of networking opportunities for professionals from around the country. This year's Innovations in Irrigation Education Conference will offer attendees expanded educational opportunities, including new irrigation seminars, technical sessions, education classes, and certification exams. Read more about the 2011 Irrigation Show and Innovations in Education Conference in this month's edition of the Family Farm "Water Review", the Family Farm Alliance's perspective on the western water issues important to our members.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on April 12, 2011 announced a 90-day finding for a petition filed by four environmental groups to list the Chinook salmon in the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers Basin (CALIFORNIA and OREGON) as threatened or endangered and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS found that the petition presents “substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned actions may be warranted”. The agency will now conduct a status review of the Chinook salmon in the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers Basin to determine if the petitioned actions are warranted. Local water users fear that another ESA-listed fish will bring with it new pressures to send agricultural water downstream for the purported benefit of the fish. NMFS is now soliciting information pertaining to this species and its habitat from all interested parties. The Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) is preparing a rebuttal to NMFS with supporting information and best available scientific and commercial data.
Federal environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act present significant challenges to the generation of hydropower resources in the Colorado River Storage Project. Some cite these laws as justification to operate reservoirs to mimic pre-dam conditions at facilities like Glen Canyon Dam. Unfortunately, this undermines the purposes for which the reservoirs were constructed. The Colorado River Energy Distributors Association (CREDA) plays an important role in educating the public and policy makers about the need to carefully manage reservoir operations during years of good hydrology. In this way, federal agencies can accomplish environmental benefits without affecting the purposes for which Congress authorized the unique water and power resources of the Colorado River.
Download and print the December 2010 "Water Review"