Washington, DC - On behalf of the Imperial Irrigation District, General Manager Henry Martinez yesterday provided witness testimony during the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resource’s two-part virtual hearing on the Colorado River drought.
With the severe drought on the shrinking Colorado – a key water source for 40 million people and the Imperial Valley’s only water source – the House Natural Resource Committee is working to find long-term, sustainable solutions and provide relief.
Martinez testified how vital the Colorado River is to the Imperial Valley in sustaining its agrarian economy and rural existence, while also expressing that protection of the Salton Sea is critical.
“The linkage between the Colorado River and the Salton Sea is irrefutable and the challenges facing it are ones both the upper and lower basins must recognize as a community of aligned interests,” Martinez stated. “The Salton Sea is, as you also know, the linchpin and proving grounds of the nation’s largest agricultural-to-urban conserved water transfer program, the QSA.”
He further testified that the only way to ensure the long-term viability of the Colorado River system is for water agencies, the states, tribes, Mexico and other stakeholders to commit anew to working alongside one another to identify new partnerships and solutions to address the imbalance on the river. And, as such, IID supports continued coordination and collaboration as the next set of long-term Colorado River operational guidelines are developed for implementation beginning in 2026.
Martinez was one of six expert witness. The Committee also received testimony by federal and tribal governments and witnesses from several states during the first day of the hearing, conducted on October 15.