Transfer meeting scheduled for May 4

April 26, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

A Valleywide and day-long discussion on how the water transfer might benefit the entire Imperial Valley will be conducted May 4.

The meeting is the brainchild of District 4 Supervisor Gary Wyatt.

"The purpose is to bring all of the Valley's leaders and stakeholders together to deal with the question of, if the water transfer is going to happen, how can we make it benefit all of the Imperial Valley," Wyatt said.

The transfer would move up to 200,000 acre-feet yearly from the Imperial Irrigation District to the San Diego County Water Authority and as much as another 100,000 acre-feet to the Coachella Valley Water District and/or the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


State hearings on the transfer's approval have begun in Sacramento.

Wyatt said there are numerous ideas on how the transfer might benefit the Valley, but there is a lack of consensus.

"The attempt needs to be made to bring the diverse viewpoints together into one voice," he said.

If that can be accomplished, Wyatt said the message would then be presented to the IID Board of Directors, to the other water agencies and state and federal governments.

Co-sponsors of the workshop are IID and the city of Calexico.

IID Division 5 Director Rudy Maldonado said the effort is much needed.

"We're looking to develop solutions and an end product," he said. "It's about the future of people and children."

Maldonado said the cost is estimated at $10,000 to bring in facilitators from outside the area. He said by doing so, any biases can be avoided, while bringing in facilitators familiar with water issues, though not necessarily with the IID/San Diego transfer.

Calexico Mayor John Renison said until now Calexico has not been too involved in the transfer.

"We are all stakeholders," he said. "It behooves us all to get in there and give some input, and get the community involved. Community input is No. 1 and it's been limited until now."

The workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4 at the Plaza de la Cultura at the Imperial Expo. The agenda includes an open house, an educational forum, an overview of summit objectives, numerous workshops and discussions.

All interested individuals and groups are encouraged to attend.

>>Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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