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Imperial Irrigation District Board Adopts New Strategic Plan

-Editorial

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan for 2024-2025, marking its first strategic plan since 2016. This plan, developed under Board Policy BL 8, required a strategic planning process every two years. The planning process began in 2023 and included active involvement from the Board, management, staff, and the public.

The planning process was comprehensive, featuring staff surveys with over 50% participation from IID’s workforce and a public survey that garnered 1,140 responses. These inputs helped shape a plan outlining seven strategic goals and eighteen initiatives, providing a roadmap for achieving IID’s mission and vision.

Throughout the two years, staff actions will drive progress toward these goals, with quarterly updates to the Board to monitor and ensure achievements. The strategic goals will influence IID’s budget and rate processes, ensuring that key priorities are adequately funded, the report stated. 

Once adopted, the strategic plan will be enhanced by the Public Affairs Department with engaging visuals, including photography of IID facilities and employees. Hard copies will be distributed to District employees and stakeholders.

During the meeting, IID board shared its enthusiasm for the 2024-2025 Strategic Plan, emphasizing its commitment to advancing the District’s mission of providing essential water and power services. The plan highlights the Board and management’s dedication to addressing challenges proactively and positioning IID as a leader in water and power.

The strategic plan was collaboratively developed with significant input from staff surveys, public feedback, and the Board’s guidance. It aligns with the newly adopted Board Policy, integrating strategic and budget planning into the District’s culture. Over the next two years, staff efforts and regular updates to the Board will ensure steady progress toward the outlined goals.

The strategic plan includes a range of initiatives aimed at enhancing asset management, securing critical materials, improving financial planning, protecting environmental assets, and modernizing tools and technology. Additionally, the plan focuses on leadership for Colorado River sustainability and optimizing on-farm conservation, among other priorities.

IID hosted three public meetings to gather input on the strategic plan, reflecting customer priorities such as rates and finance, water and energy policy, infrastructure, and technology. The plan is designed to guide IID’s actions and investments, ensuring a progressive and resilient future for the communities it serves.

This strategic planning process was supported by experienced consultants with deep industry knowledge, providing customized solutions to meet IID’s specific needs and objectives. The consultants conducted interviews, analyzed documents, and developed a SWOT analysis to inform the plan.

“I thank IID staff for all their hard work, this is our north star and the direction we will be taking,” IID Board Chair Alex Cardenas said. 

In other items, the board selected IID Director Javier Gonzalez and Karin Eugenio to have two-on-two meetings with Calexico representatives and discuss IID matters. 

IID Forms General Manager’s Farm Water Roundtable

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) has announced the formation of the General Manager’s Farm Water Roundtable to enhance stakeholder engagement within its agricultural community. This new advisory group aims to streamline communication and decision-making processes, addressing the increased need for efficient stakeholder input due to drought response actions and the development of post-2026 Colorado River operational guidelines.

Historically, IID has relied on various advisory groups, including the Agricultural Water Advisory Committee (AWAC), established in 1979 as the Water Conservation Advisory Board. Over the past 45 years, AWAC’s focus has evolved, with its bylaws most recently updated in 2023 to create a more constructive advisory panel. IID also participates in several other local agricultural workgroups.

The newly formed Farm Water Roundtable will consolidate overlapping interests and memberships from AWAC and other local agricultural groups such as the Imperial County Farm Bureau (ICFB), Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association (IVVGA), and Imperial Valley H2O (IVH2O). This consolidated group will consist of five at-large agricultural representatives and three appointees from ICFB, IVVGA, and IVH2O, convening on an as-needed basis to ensure timely and effective stakeholder engagement.

General Manager Jaime Asbury stated that this new roundtable will facilitate more clear, effective, and consistent communication among water users, ultimately aiding informed decision-making. Several discussions among the representative groups have already taken place, highlighting a shared commitment to a more efficient stakeholder process. The formation of this advisory group is not expected to incur additional expenses.

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