Coachella Valley, California – (September 29, 2015) -- In light of the recent attacks on California’s Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA), water leaders and experts collaborated to produce a single source of critical information on our water crisis, and how the QSA is important to its future. The website, www.waterforthefuture.org, provides history and context regarding the QSA, and has detailed specifics on the agreement and how stakeholders are affected. The QSA was approved in 2003, and brought together several Southern California water agencies, along with the U.S. Department of Interior, to ensure a consistent water supply to arid regions of California. The QSA protects the future of the Coachella Valley water supply by quantifying entitlements and establishing a schedule for transfers and acquisitions of conserved water.
In November 2014, Imperial Irrigation District, which was a participant in the development and implementation of the QSA, filed a petition with the State Water Resources Control Board seeking to condition its QSA transfers of conserved water to area water agencies upon the State fulfilling its obligation to restore the Salton Sea. But IID’s challenge of the QSA at this juncture is unreasonable as restoration of the Salton Sea was never part of the QSA.
The QSA’s parameters address—and mitigate—the effects of the QSA on the Salton Sea, but the document was never designed to be a blueprint for restoration of the Sea. Rather, the QSA maintains provisions that help ensure the agreement will not cause further deterioration of the Salton Sea. Restoration resides solely with the State of California, and its ability to choose and fund a restoration plan.
Any challenge to the QSA is irresponsible and threatens drinking water for hundreds of thousands of residents throughout Southern California, particularly those living in the Coachella Valley. The QSA preserved the Coachella Valley’s entitlement of Colorado River water, and provided for additional transfers that address the groundwater overdraft conditions in the East Valley.
The drought affects every single person in California, so it is vital to arm yourself with knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding the provision of potable water. It is also vital to protect groundwater and imported water supplies to help ensure a reliable, water supply to the people of Southern California. www.waterforthefuture.org is the place to go for that knowledge. The information on the site provides a comprehensive look at the history of water in Southern California, how imported Colorado River water is allotted to various regions, and why the QSA is critical to ensuring our drinking water supply.
Launched in conjunction with the Coachella Valley Water District’s community affairs efforts, www.waterforthefuture.org is a site dedicated to educating and informing the public on important water issues, including the QSA. For more information on the QSA and other water news, contact CVWD’s Director of Communication and Conservation Heather Engel at (760) 398-2651 ext. 2353.