Colorado River Aqueduct
The Colorado River Aqueduct. Courtesy Metropolitan Water District

The San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday it has extended through 2047 a historic agreement to secure independent water supplies from the Colorado River.

The water authority’s board voted unanimously to extend the agreement with the Metropolitan Water District to transport 2 million acre-feet of Colorado River water between 2037 and 2047. Water transferred under the agreement represented 20 percent of San Diego’s needs in 2017.

The complex agreement covers water originally intended for Imperial Valley farms and requires the Los Angeles-based MWD to transport that water to San Diego via the Colorado River Aqueduct.

“Our independent Colorado River water supplies are a key component of the ongoing effort to develop our diversified and more reliable water supply portfolio,” said Mark Muir, chair of the water authority’s board. “Using that conserved water helps fuel our economy and maintain our quality of life — and it has proven particularly valuable during droughts.”

Since 2003, increasing volumes of water conserved in the Imperial Irrigation District have been delivered each year to San Diego. The water authority has an option to extend the agreement an additional 30 years.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.