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Calexico council considers taking stand against fallowing to save the Salton Sea

November 07, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — This City Council could take a stand against farm fallowing.

After hearing a 15-minute presentation on the various alternatives that are being proposed to "save" the Salton Sea, the Calexico City Council gave direction to City Attorney Michael Rood to draft a resolution that would oppose fallowing to save the Salton Sea.

That resolution will be voted on at the next council meeting.

The council made its decision after hearing a presentation from Tom Kirk, executive director of the Salton Sea Authority, before Tuesday's council meeting.

Councilman Gilbert Grijalva told Kirk, "Fallowing is controversial in Calexico.

"I don't think farmland should be fallowed for the purpose of reclaiming water for the Salton Sea.

"We have to make sure that we have all the water we need. That is our gold here.

"We shouldn't be penalized for the growth problems of other communities."

Mayor Pro Tem John Renison said regarding fallowing, "We are all concerned with job losses."

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He asked Kirk if there was any sort of timetable when the undecided issues surrounding the proposed transfer of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego would be finalized.

Kirk said by the end of 2002 there will be pressure on the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego County Water Authority to "consummate that marriage."

Renison asked Kirk if the Baja pipeline being considered by SDCWA and Mexican authorities is "out of the mix."

Kirk said there are a lot of skeptics "out there" who don't think the project, also called the San Diego/Tijuana Canal, will ever be completed, although he said some people in San Diego are still pushing the idea.

Mayor Victor Carrillo said fallowing "looks very positive" in the light in which Kirk cast it, but he said there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what the future holds for the Valley.

He said the Imperial Valley has to protect its water rights.

Councilman Frank Montoya, an IID employee, did not comment on the matter.

Later during the meeting, the council and Police Chief Tommy Tunson honored the Imperial County bomb squad and the Calexico Fire Department for defusing a bomb found in Calexico on Aug. 13.

>>Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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