More money may be allocated for fallowing to try and entice more farmers to contract out their land.
The Imperial Irrigation District staff is set to propose upping the amount paid per acre-foot of water conserved through fallowing, as the district has yet to meet the required amount of water to transfer to San Diego. The district already increased the amount last year to $100 per acre-foot, but the new amount would increase it to $125 per acre-foot.
The district’s water transfer schedule requires about 112,500 acre-feet of fallowed water to meet 2012 transfer obligations. However there was some uncertainty last year when contracting out its fallowing program for 2011, and the district anticipates having to make up some of that with the next cycle of fallowing, to go from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.
So far the district has contracts for more than 100,000 acre-feet of water, but more is needed, hence the increased price.
The total financial impact will vary depending on the amount of water contracted for. If the district contracts the required 170,000 acre-feet of fallowed water under the current $100 per-acre foot, the program would cost $17 million. However, if the total were increased, for that same amount of water it would cost $21.25 million. That money would be made up by the amount the San Diego County Water Authority is set to pay for that transferred water, between $491 and $540 per acre-foot.
In addition to the fallowing rate, the board is set to look at its controversial procurement policy, which has fallen under criticism in the last few months. District staff will compare the proposed policy changes with the state procurement code, which some business leaders have said is the best option for the district’s bidding process.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.
If you go
What Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors meeting
When 1 p.m. today
Where W. R. Condit Auditorium, 1285 Broadway, El Centro
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