Opposition to Imperial Water Deal Grows

Nov. 21, 2002
Opposition to a proposal that would have Imperial Valley farmers send water to the San Diego area continues to gain strength.

A public meeting held Monday in Calexico drew an overflow crowd of residents opposed to the deal. The proposal is a key part of a plan to lower the amount of water California takes from the Colorado River.

The proposed deal between the neighboring counties involves 200,000 acre feet a year of water -- the same as a one-acre tower of water stretching 34 miles into and through the stratosphere, 10News reported. One acre-foot provides enough water for two families of four for one year.

If a deal is not reached by Dec. 31, Southern California could face severe and immediate water restrictions.

The Imperial Irrigation District is the last of several agencies that needs to decide whether to accept the plan, which would require farmers in the Imperial Valley to fallow some cropland.

Everyone who spoke at Monday night's meeting in Calexico opposed the deal, saying it would hurt farmworkers and the region's economy while fueling growth in San Diego.

The president of the Imperial Irrigation District board passed out signs reading "No Transfer," and a director of the board waved one of the placards.

The board is expected to vote on the deal at its Dec. 10 meeting. A lawyer for the district said that if the deal falls through, there could be a costly and lengthy legal battle, or the government could step in to force a resolution.

Source: KGTV