Advertisement

Our Opinion: Will they listen?

April 09, 2002

It is admirable that leaders of Imperial Valley cities are meeting with San Diego officials to let them know about how the water transfer between our areas could affect the Valley.

San Diego officials need to hear our side. They want our water and because they want to grow, even if it means continuing to turn San Diego from paradise into parking lot. San Diego leaders are determined that they are going to have a large pool of our water allotment, the effects on the Valley being … well, not necessarily damned, but downplayed.

The impacts to the Imperial Valley from the transfer, into which we appear to be locked thanks to the "shortsightedness" (we're being nice today) of the Imperial Irrigation District board of the mid-1990s, could be devastating. We're talking about everything from increased unemployment to toxic dust storms to multi-million-dollar lawsuits from environmental groups to the crushing of what could be a bountiful and multi-layered sugar cane industry.

Advertisement

The group of city leaders from the Valley meeting with San Diego bigwigs includes El Centro Mayor Larry Grogan, who is becoming a leader among leaders in the Valley. Grogan and others need to let San Diego folks know that in regard to the transfer, we are concerned both about our economic and physical well-being here in the Valley. Many San Diego leaders don't know of our concerns about the transfer. Heck, many don't know much about our valley, period, so any effort at education is commendable.

Valley officials say their talks with San Diego leaders have been positive, that the San Diego honchos seemed receptive and want to hear more. We'll see. Our own talks with San Diego folks about the transfer have had mixed results at best. They want our water, they make it clear, but they really don't want to hear our worst-case scenarios. "Don't worry, we're happy," they basically tell us.

Well, we are not. More and more our choices seem to come down to killing the Salton Sea or damaging our economy and costing thousands and thousands of people their jobs. We don't like either option and many of us won't accept either.

Talking to San Diego officials is worthwhile. It basically is easy; call some people and schedule a meeting. San Diego leaders act nice. They are always glad to talk and glad to listen.

Whether they will care about our concerns is a much different matter.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles
|
|
|