Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Watermaster Coming to Borrego


Last updated 11/9/2023 at 2:33pm

The Borrego Springs Watermaster Board of Directors will be holding its next semi annual meeting in Borrego Springs on November 9 at 4:30 p.m. in the Library Conference Room. Prior to the formal meeting Staff and Consultants will holding informative Town Hall session on various topics starting at 1 p.m. The specific agenda topics and times will be available at least 24 hours before the meeting at the As of this date, potential topics to be covered at the Town Hall include:

*Existing groundwater-quality and groundwater-levels in the basin

*Expansion of the Watermaster’s Groundwater Monitoring Program

*Update of the Watermaster’s Groundwater Management Plan by 2025

*The redetermination of the Sustainable Yield of the Basin by 2025

*The Biological Restoration of Fallowed Lands project

*Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Surveys being conducted by the State across the basin during November 2023

The five-member Borrego Springs Sub Basin Watermaster Board is comprised of municipal, recreational, agricultural, community and County of SD representatives. Pumping fees are assessed to cover operating expenses. The Board, reporting to the Orange County Superior Court, has the responsibility to manage the groundwater basin towards the goal of reaching sustainability, which in this case means living within the Sustainable Yield (reliable inflow).

The current overdraft (pumping in excess of the Sustainable Yield) is estimated to be 74.6% and these estimates are updated every 5 years with the next one scheduled for 2025. The work is already underway. Basin Pumpers have decreased pumping allocations by 15% since 2020 on the path to sustainability.

Borrego is the only Basin in the State that has created a financially stable revenue source to fund a newly formed Watermaster and manage a Critically Overdrafted Basin (-75%). Since its formation in 2020, virtually all Bain pumpers were required to install meters. Last but definitely not least, annual pumping reductions began three years ago and now total 15% out of the estimated 75% (subject to change) that will be needed before 2040 to reach the point of sustainability. We encourage all to attend either event and bring your questions.

Rampdown has of pumping to meet a 75% overdraft has only been accomplished in Borrego Springs.

State law requires all groundwater basins to reach sustainability by 2040 and Borrego is well on its way due to the fact for the past three years working on implementing the Groundwater Management Plan that specifies the Project and Management Actions needed to reach sustainability.

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