Efforts to secure a major water transfer between Imperial Valley farmers and San Diego took a step forward late Tuesday when the Imperial Irrigation District board effectively guaranteed the availability of some of the water necessary for the deal.
The board waived a requirement that water conservation contracts with farmers be in place by Oct. 31. The conservation is necessary to free up agricultural water for transfer to San Diego in the latter years of the deal’s term.
“This action really says the [district] is guaranteeing the water will be available,” said district spokeswoman Sue Giller, adding that the board is confident it can get farmers to sign up for the water-saving program. The transfer is part of a broader proposal to ensure California’s continuing access to surplus Colorado River flows.