A new initiative to promote cooperation between the United States and Mexico on Colorado River management will be discussed at the next public meeting of the Colorado River Citizens’ Forum (CRCF). The meeting will take place November 18, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (PST)/5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (MST) at the Women’s Improvement Club of Calexico, 320 Heber Avenue, Calexico, California.
The United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) established the CRCF in 2003 to facilitate the exchange of information between the USIBWC and members of the public about Commission activities in Yuma County, Arizona and Imperial County, California.
Earlier this year, the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, established a Binational Core Group to facilitate U.S.-Mexico cooperation on Colorado River issues. The Core Group includes representatives from the federal government, states, and non-governmental organizations. The objective of the joint cooperative process is to explore water conservation, shortage management, augmentation, and environmental issues with potential binational benefits in the areas of environmental, agricultural, and urban water use. USIBWC Public Affairs Officer Sally Spener will discuss the activities this group has undertaken.
The CRCF will also learn more about water management in Mexico from Engineer Jorge Soto of Mexico’s National Water Commission (Conagua). Engineer Soto will discuss the water conveyance and delivery system in Irrigation District 014 in the Mexicali Valley. The district has over 200,000 hectares under irrigation. The region irrigates with Mexico’s allotment of Colorado River water and also relies on groundwater pumped from over 700 wells.
In other business, Gilbert Anaya, GIS Coordinator for the USIBWC, will present a briefing about the Morelos Diversion Dam sediment removal project. He will discuss the planning process and steps necessary to restore the operational capacity of the dam, located on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona-Los Algodones, Baja California. The USIBWC proposes to remove sediment build-up around the spillway that has caused loss of dam function and capacity in this reach. An update on the permitting process and habitat impacts will also be discussed.
The CRCF will also hear updates on two ongoing projects – the Drop 2 storage reservoir and the lining of the All-American Canal. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October for Drop 2. The reservoir, with a capacity of 8,000 acre-feet, is designed to store flows that are not currently captured in the lower Colorado River system. The All-American Canal project is currently under construction; the lining project is intended to conserve water by reducing seepage.