“A proposal by the Imperial Irrigation District to repay the Colorado River system for the 46,546 acre-feet of Colorado River water that it delivered into the Salton Sea in 2010 has received a positive response.
“More than 10 centuries ago, Native Americans dug canals to bring water — the desert’s most precious resource — into their farms and communities in the harsh climate of what’s now Phoenix.
“Today, the 56 million Americans in the fast-growing desert Southwest — including those in the megacities of Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego — are faced with a challenge beyond the region’s natural dryness: coping with an uncertain future of man-made climate change and how it will impact their life-sustaining supply of water.”
From the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Staff Blog:
“NRDC recently published a paper highlighting the water supply strategies of five Southern California agencies that plan to significantly reduce their reliance on water imported from the overstressed Bay-Delta and Colorado River systems.
“Investigators are now beginning the task, which will take months, of unraveling how a routine afternoon of cutting fire lines along the edge of a community threatened by flames turned into the deadliest day for wilderness firefighters in 80 years. …
“Experts say that wildfires across the West are becoming increasingly dangerous and unpredictable adversaries.
“There’s a dangerous but basic equation behind the killer Yarnell Hill wildfire and other blazes raging across the West this summer: More heat, more drought, more fuel and more people in the way are adding up to increasingly ferocious fires.
“In a presentation before the St. George City Council on Thursday, Ron Thompson, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District, outlined some of the challenges for the region as growth continues and water sources become more scarce.
The WRA [Western Resource Advocates] report used the latest estimates from the [Utah] governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, which lowered Washington County’s 2060 population from 860,000 to 498,000. However, our county water district, Washington County Water Conservancy District, ignores both the governor’s new estimates and the WRA report.
“Half of the water consumed in homes here is used to irrigate lawns, but there is a certain curiosity about the way water is used in Phoenix, which gets barely eight inches of rain a year but is not necessarily parched. The per capita consumption here, 108 gallons a day, is less than in Los Angeles, where residents average 123 gallons a day.”
“While water scarcity affects one in three people in the world, Imperial County is a desert with a reliable water source. But that reliability, which comes from the Colorado River, the lifeblood for some 40 million people across seven states, could be compromised in coming decades, according to a recent study by U.S.
“A big sigh of relief was heard breezing through San Diego County earlier this month following a Superior Court judge’s ruling that validated a 10-year-old agreement to buy precious Colorado River water from Imperial Valley farmers….
[The] ruling may yet be appealed. But it’s a crucial step toward achieving the goal of greater water reliability and independence for all of San Diego County.”
A California judge has upheld the nation’s largest farm-to-city water transfer.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled Tuesday that authorities properly weighed the environmental impact of the landmark 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement, a set of agreements on how to divide the state’s share of Colorado River water.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly on Tuesday validated the 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement and rejected all of the remaining legal challenges to the landmark accord.