WMB Rep: Mark Jorgensen


Last updated 2/27/2020 at 3pm

With three highly qualified and experienced candidates from which to choose as our Community Representative to sit on the soon-to-be-formed WaterMaster Board (WMB), the choice appeared at first blush to be a difficult one for the five-member Borrego Water District Board of Directors in a public forum at the Library. But in the end, the vote was unanimous – Mark Jorgensen. Martha Deichler was chosen as the designated alternate.

Right at the outset, Rebecca Falk all but backed out of the running, tossing her support to Jorgensen, and then she, Deichler, and Jorgensen made their cases for the challenging volunteer, unpaid assignment. All three of the candidates had unique and impressive sets of credentials, qualifications, and experience. After they made the challenging volunteer, unpaid assignment. All three of the candi-dates had unique and impressive sets of credentials, qualifications, and experience. After they made their presentations and answered a few questions from an audience of about two dozen, there was no discussion among Board members; rather, Director Dave Duncan motioned to appoint Jorgensen, with Deichler as the alternate, and the motion was carried 5 – 0.

Mark Jorgensen has been a full-time Borrego resident for 42 years (15 years prior experience as well), with a vast array of work and life experiences as a Park ranger, nat-uralist, ecologist, environmental scientist, author, and our ABDSP Superintendent.

He has also organized about 40 of the annual Bighorn sheep counts since 1972. He has observed the issue of water use in the U.S., Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. He has also constructed ten wildlife watering systems in Anza-Borrego and in the mountains above Palm Springs.

“I am proud to be selected to rep-resent our townspeople,” Jorgensen said of his selection to the WMB. As for the process itself, he went on to say, “I thought the selection process ended up being very fair, and it reflected the will of the people in the community.”

Jorgensen knows Borrego, and he knows the people. But he also knows what’s important here regarding our water situation.

“We have a tremendous quality of life here which I hope to help preserve. One huge aspect of pre-serving our future quality of life is to help ensure our water supply is used in a sustainable fashion and that water quality is also assured. Folks will have confidence in the future of our community, future investments, and in the value of our businesses and homes.”

He is no shrinking violet when it comes to speaking up in his low-pitched but highly resonant voice and getting his points across when duty calls, as was the case during his presentation at the public forum. Asked what he’ll be doing to get ready for that first WMB meeting, “I’ll be educating myself by reading everything I can on our Stipulated Judgment, California water law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and talking to folks in our community who are well informed on our water issues, as well as those who will be effected by enacting the water plans in the future.”

Borrego is indeed fortunate to have the right man at the right time for the job of representing an entire community, with all its dis-parate population, organizational affiliations, and their private/public agendas.

Yet there is little doubt that Jorgensen will do what it takes and for as long as it takes to move Borrego towards our communi-ty goal of sustainability. Just in case Jorgensen comes down with Bighorn sheep fever or something, Deichler will be there to step in and do the same.

The Water Master Board has also finalized appointments for Shannon Smith of Rams Hill, with Rich Pinel of the RoadRunner Club/Springs at Borrego as the alternate; and agricultural parties have appointed Mike Seley as the Ag rep, with Michale Bozick as the alternate.