Voice: Water transfer alternative follou-up No. 2

March 21, 2002

In this issue I will be dealing with where the money should come from to fund my ideas. The 600,000 acre-feet of water flowing into the Salton Sea through the Alamo River would cost at the top end $200 per acre-foot to clean up the small amount of salt and some of the other elements.

We must remember that the "cleaned" water does not have to be pure. Four hundred thousand feet of it will be flowing into the sea with little or no salt and drastically reduced other pollutants. Any reduction will benefit the sea, and the other 200,000 feet to be pumped to San Diego County Water Authority will be diluted and cleaner than most other Colorado River users' return flow.

Initially we are talking about $120 million per year. So the first thing we look at is all of the entities that currently plan to spend money for getting their water to San Diego, or to save the sea, save the wildlife, save the fish or an EIR.


San Diego County Water Authority will be spending somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion to get their water to the coast. What will their annual operating costs be? Not cheap. The Salton Sea Authority wants to spend close to a billion dollars to do their little thing to save the sea. The Imperial Irrigation District is saying that the EIR and mitigation measures probably will be between half a billion to $1 billion.

Fish and wildlife officials want to spend up to half a billion dollars to setup a fish hatchery, mainly for the migrating wildlife. And we haven't heard from the federal government on its attempt to protect the endangered species in the New River, the Alamo River and the southern end of the sea.

Take all of this money and add it up. Five billion? Too much, then let's take half of that, $2.5 billion, and see how that money could be spent. We start needing $120 million a year, but I honestly believe over the first 20 years, the cost will drop in half. So how much money do my ideas cost for the first 20 years? Less than $2 billion. Not bad compared to what everyone else wants to do and spend.

Look for my third follow-up soon discussing why all of the big boys are not looking anywhere near my ideas.


El Centro

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