GSP Approaches Decision Points
Last updated 6/15/2017 at 8:54am
As summer heats up, so does the activity of the Borrego Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The Prime Consultant, Dudek Inc, has been on the job for a little over two months now. The team is fully functional, and work has intensively begun on a number of the complex issues within the GSP planning process. This article will outline three of those key issues to be formally presented to the GSP Advisory Committee (AC) in their June 29 meeting. The AC members will then take the issues to their respective stakeholders and return with recommendations.
Water Budget: In 2015, the USGS estimated annual inflows into the Basin at 1.8 billion gallons and annual outflow/pumping at 6 billion gallons per year. Dudek will work with the AC, BWD, and the County on confirming those estimates.
Water Credits: BWD and The County has issued water credits in the past for those customers who decided to fallow their property and have the ability to use that water elsewhere in the Basin. To date, approximately 1,400 water credits (currently with a value of one acre foot), have been issued to date. An evaluation of the Water Credits Policy will also be part of the discussion.
Water Quality: Water quality within the Borrego Basin varies, and preserving the water sources that meet State drinking water standards is a significant issue. Maintaining affordable water rates is also one of the primary focuses of the AC, BWD, and County as it enters the GSP planning process. The single largest potential expense in the future for BWD ratepayers is the possibility of requiring the need for large-scale water treatment. This is an issue that will get a lot of attention during the GSP development process.
Last but not least, Kathy Dice has announced her resignation as the State Park representative on the AC, and Gina Moran will be her replacement. Kathy’s knowledge and experience of the Basin will be missed. The good news is she has promised to remain involved in the GSP process as a private citizen and customer of BWD.
The next scheduled AC meeting is at 10:00 a.m. on June 29 at BWD. We will provide details on that meeting, and also when the individual AC member recommendations are presented to the full committee in subsequent meetings.