"The Quantification Settlement Agreement for the Colorado River water users is finally a reality," said Salton Sea Authority Board President Andy Horne, a member of the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors.
"With the QSA comes promise that there will be significant revenues for Salton Sea restoration and significant pressure to implement restoration soon as the Sea' s inflows drop due to the water transfer." Horne
and other Authority board members, however, are concerned that there will be a loss of local direction and momentum if Restoration work is from Sacramento.
"We believe the restoration of the Salton Sea
is best led by locally elected decision makers in the Imperial and Coachella valleys and not state employees in Sacramento."
"Over the past five years, it has been the Authority's leadership - in partnership with the state and federal government - that has brought new focus and purpose to restoration of the Salton Sea
.We think this should continue," Horne
Hard fought gains were made for the Sea during recently concluded negotiations on the water transfer.
"We are concerned that some of the gains made, particularly the commitment of funding that passes through the State of California from a recent water bond and from the water transfer itself, may be diverted elsewhere or wasted if state efforts are not absolutely integrated with the Salton Sea Authority
and our Federal, university and other partners' efforts," Horne
"Additionally, we believe that our work on the pieces of a preferred restoration project - a deep-water lake, shallow water wetlands and water quality improvement features - puts us on the verge of identifying a preferred project,"
The Authority is concerned that the State's process may "start from scratch," which would substantially delay selection of a preferred project.
"While recent water transfer/Salton Sea state legislation provides some mechanisms for locals to render advice to a State led process through an Advisory Committee, as local governments know, there is no substitute for local decision- making," Horne
From left, Peter Nelson, Andy Horne
, Gary Wyatt and Roy Wilson