Digger - December 29, 2008
Kudos and many thanks to members of the Desert Area Initiative (DAI) committee for their yeoman's work on a new community plan for Borrego. The original DAI document, issued in draft form 31 March 2007, was justifiably criticized for the short shrift it gave to a sustainable water supply for the valley. Happily, the authors of the recently released revised version, "Borrego Springs Updated Community Plan," took that criticism to heart. Indeed, as reported in the last issue of the Borrego Sun, the valley's dwindling water supply figures prominently in the updated plan. So much so that the first item under "Community Vision" makes groundwater management and assurance of a sustainable water supply "Job Number One" as it should be. The authors state unequivocally that: "Without a solution to the aquifer overdraft, we feel strongly that the following community vision cannot be realized."
A sustainable water supply is, however, essential not only to the kind of progress the DAI committee envisions for the community, but to its very survival; and it is impossible to overstate that fact. The DAI committee has laid out the scope and causes of Borrego's water problem, a range of possible solutions for it, and the consequences of failing to solve it in an honest, straight-forward manner. No other document, including BWD's own Groundwater Management Plan and its pending Integrated Water Resources Management Plan, provides the same unbiased, thoroughgoing, frank, and uncompromising assessment of the situation.
Borregans owe the committee a debt of gratitude for their good work and the moral courage members displayed in confronting Borrego's most serious problem head-on. Unfortunately, the committee does not have the authority to implement solutions. Now if there were only some way to get the "deciders" at BWD to read the updated community plan and act responsibly.
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