A federal agency with authority over the Colorado River ruled Thursday that Imperial Valley farmers are guilty of wasting water and should have their mammoth allocation of the river reduced by 9%, reports Tony Perry in Friday's Los Angeles Times.
The ruling by Robert Johnson, the Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Colorado regional director, was immediately denounced by farmers and officials of the Imperial Irrigation District who vowed to fight any reduction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I don't believe for a moment that this will hold up in court, which is exactly where we are headed," Imperial official Andy Horne told Perry. "This is a nation of laws, and there are property laws to protect people. We're not going to put up with this punitive agenda."
The standoff between the Bureau of Reclamation and the Imperial Irrigation District is another sign that Western water issues are increasingly mired in litigation and political accusations.