Home / LATEST NEWS / IlD Board Adopts Resolution to Boost Colorado River and Local Water Resources, Including Lithium Valley

IlD Board Adopts Resolution to Boost Colorado River and Local Water Resources, Including Lithium Valley

-Editorial

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors passed a resolution during its Tuesday meeting reaffirming its dedication to meeting community water demands. The resolution highlights Imperial County’s efforts to support the development of Lithium Valley, which aims to diversify the Imperial Valley’s economy and create local employment opportunities.

The resolution emphasizes IID’s commitment to collaborating with Imperial County and other stakeholders to expand water conservation initiatives and enhance water management tools, policies, and programs. This effort aims to support new non-agricultural beneficial uses while maintaining an equitable distribution of Colorado River supplies across all water use categories within the district.

“This resolution is a cooperative effort that documents IID’s interest in adaptively managing the district’s annual Colorado River entitlement,” said IID Board Chairman Alex Cardenas. “We are pleased to partner together with the County of Imperial on this initiative.”

Imperial County has made significant strides in advancing and diversifying regional economic development opportunities. Building on Imperial Valley’s robust agricultural foundation, the County is focusing on leveraging the region’s natural resources to encourage new renewable energy projects. Recently, this has expanded to include the environmentally sustainable extraction of lithium and other minerals from geothermal brine.

“The projects necessary to support this industry can provide economic diversification for Imperial County and create thousands of direct and ancillary jobs and revenue for this community,” said Luis A. Plancarte, Chairman of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. “A reliable water supply is crucial to this effort. We greatly appreciate the leadership and commitment of the IID Board in helping to clarify this issue.”

The resolution reiterates IID’s commitment to managing its Colorado River water entitlement to support existing, new, and changing water uses, including projected demands from Lithium Valley, while continuing to serve its long-standing agricultural and other community water users.

IID holds some of the most senior and legally protected water rights on the Colorado River, with an annual consumptive use entitlement of 3.1 million acre-feet. About 2.6 million acre-feet of this is delivered for in-valley uses, 97 percent of which are utilized by agricultural users to grow food and fiber for the nation and world.

Additionally, IID and its growers conserve over 500,000 acre-feet of water annually to support the Colorado River and create a sustainable water supply for Southern California. The district is working to conserve up to an additional 250,000 acre-feet per year through 2026 to protect reservoir elevations at Lake Mead.

The resolution also calls for Imperial County to collaborate with IID to ensure new projects and land use changes include thorough hydrologic analyses and necessary environmental mitigation to protect the Salton Sea and adjacent communities. IID will review proposed projects to verify that water demands meet beneficial use requirements and efficiency standards.

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