The BWD is to be commended for passing a 3:1 groundwater mitigation policy; but, however commendable, merely establishing such a policy has not and will not, by itself, save any water. Only if and when the BWD actually purchases and fallows land will that happen; and doing that will require a separate and sustained effort by the BWD. Failing that it will remain a promise half kept.
The BWD must now establish an expeditious mechanism for applying the policy. At a minimum, that means setting up efficient means by which property on offer can be purchased or optioned on short notice. In turn, that means that the BWD must pre-position itself to act quickly when an opportunity presents itself. The best way to do that is to anticipate such opportunities by engaging a buyer’s real estate agent who would actively seek out properties suitable for the mitigation program, assist in obtaining a contract or option to purchase them in a timely manner, and handle details of the sale if and when consummated.
In addition, the BWD must arrange financing in advance. Since BWD counsel has experience in bond issues and related matters, his advice and assistance should be sought immediately regarding options available to the District and the best way to fund the mitigation program.
Without such a structured and forward-looking approach
already in place, it is extremely unlikely that the BWD will be able to act
fast enough to purchase desirable properties, and all of the work done to
date will be for naught. The BWD must, therefore, place this at the
top of their agenda and give it the highest priority. There is no time
to waste; but, unfortunately, that is the BWD’s strong suite.