GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Colorado River Board of California on the budget chopping block

Posted by George J Janczyn on May 27, 2011

At yesterday’s San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Board Meeting, the Imported Water Committee reported on this curious development regarding the Colorado River Board of California (CRB):

“The 2011-12 Governor’s Budget May Revision proposes to eliminate the CRB as part of a larger effort to reduce state government and match state spending with available revenue.”

The Colorado River Board of California was established in 1937 by state statute to protect California’s rights and interests in the resources provided by the Colorado River and to represent California in discussions and negotiations regarding the Colorado River and its management.

The Board is comprised of six water agencies, plus the California Department of Fish and Game and Department of Water Resources as ex-officio members, and two non-voting public members. The water agencies include the San Diego County Water Authority, City of Los Angeles, Metropolitan Water District, Palo Verde Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, and the Imperial Irrigation District.

What’s curious about the Governor’s proposal? This dry observation from the committee report says it all:

“It is not clear at this time how any savings to California’s budget would be achieved, as the six water agencies on the board fund the entire CRB budget and activities.”

It’s possible the Governor wasn’t aware that the CRB doesn’t receive state funding. SDCWA staff intend to further review the situation with CRB and state agency staff to determine if that was the case and possibly spare CRB from the chopping block. In any case, since CRB was created by statute, even if the proposed elimination goes forward CRB members would have until January 2012 to explore alternatives.


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