Last updated 1/3/2018 at 12:24pm
As we head into the New Year, Borregans will, as is always the case, be faced with issues that need to be addressed, some quicker than others.
Pesky roosters disturbing sleep is a minor one. Our aquifer situation is a major one. We have two years before submission of our final Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), due Jan. 1, 2020, that must comply with the State requirements under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
We have 20 more years after that to make it all work, fortunately not all at once, but rather in increments. It seems like more than enough time, given progress so far, to make decisions early that have long-term consequences. But time has a way of running out as issues major and minor keep getting pushed back on the to-do list.
One of our most important needs is community consensus on the most equitable way to allocate the limited amount of water available for our three sectors – agriculture, golf courses, and municipal drinking water – and how best to monitor for compliance.
By 2040, we are mandated to use 5,700 acre-feet of aquifer water per year – for all sectors – down from a peak of 20,000 acre-feet in prior years. The many sub-issues surrounding the major issues of allocation and monitoring must be addressed, as does the associated matter of new development – no growth versus slow growth versus accelerated growth –and then reflected by means of firm recommendations to the County and State consistent with our GSP goals and objectives.
We have some very smart and talented citizens working hard on foreseen and unforeseen problems affecting long-term water interests of Borrego Springs. Some provide input, others make the actual decisions, but public input early enough to weigh options for sound decision-making is critical going forward. Arriving late to the water party and then complaining that your voice is not being heard is counterproductive at best.
Stay informed, attend BWD Board meetings, and make your voice heard. New Year’s Day in 2020 will be here faster than we think.