In the realm of dwindling resources, none is more on the minds of local residents than water. Of course, it's not on our minds because there is less of it available in the long run. Rather, there will be less of it because of the demand that the Imperial Valley's lifeblood be given to outsiders; outsiders whose poor planning is being paid for by locals.
As fewer and fewer sources of water become available at cost-effective prices, a significant amount can still be obtained through the recovery of seepage from our major canals. Two of those canals are the All-American and the Coachella branch. Roughly 94,000 acre-feet yearly are seeping into the ground, with about 67,000 of that moving south of the international border.
The issue of what to do with the seepage is timely because of recommendations by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories that the water be used as a temporary source of fresh water to help an ailing Salton Sea. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, commissioned the study. We think the recommendation would have some validity if it weren't that the water should first be recovered and supplied for farming, and secondly, if there weren't a federal law prohibiting Colorado River water from going to the sea for exactly this purpose.