Holtville resident and former county supervisor Wally Leimgruber is encouraging Imperial County residents to back the Imperial Irrigation
District’s appeal to litigation he argues may jeopardize the district’s authority over precious Colorado River water.
“As a property owner with over 28 years in the farming industry and now involved in land-use consulting, I am respectfully requesting you join with me and other business and civic leaders in filing an amicus brief in support of IID’s position in the appeal,” Leimgruber wrote in a letter he is sharing with county residents.
… Meanwhile, members of the El Centro City Council at its Sept. 4 meeting voiced support for Leimgruber when he presented his group’s position.
“Without access to water there is no reason for Imperial Valley to exist,” Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker said, commenting from a remote location by
speakerphone. “Water must be held in trust for future generations. I personally endorse this amicus brief.”
Also offering encouragement, Council Member Efrain Silva said, “Without water Imperial Valley becomes the next Death Valley. Wally, you have my full support and we should go as far as we can go.”
This was posted on the Desert Sun’s website yesterday. A must read…
A lawsuit in California’s Imperial Valley could determine who controls the single largest share of Colorado River water in the West — a few hundred landowning farmers, or the elected five-member board of the Imperial Irrigation District.
But a newly obtained document shows that the farmer who filed the lawsuit,
Mike Abatti, was willing to sidestep that explosive legal question — if he and his family got a special exemption from a plan that could have limited his access to Colorado River water.
Abatti “would be willing to dismiss the present litigation with prejudice in exchange for a binding commitment from the IID to supply Mr. Abatti, his brother James Abatti, and father Ben Abatti with the water they reasonably need for farming,” Hejmanowski wrote.
If the three Abattis had received such an exemption, it could have angered other farmers — if other farmers ever found out about the deal.
“Mr. Abatti is willing to consider different structures and terms for documenting (the proposed settlement) so that it poses the least potential difficulty for the IID in regard to other persons,” Hejmanowski wrote.
While looking around the Internet we came across this great article on The Desert Review by Brian McNeece. Please read it as it is a very important take on the water in the Imperial Valley.
Some locals have asked, “What does it matter who controls the water?” It matters a lot. Farmers rightly claim that they contribute the majority of value to
the local economy. They also claim that if they were to control the water, the Imperial Valley would be in good hands….
If you are one of about 500 farmers here, being in control of the water sounds mighty sweet, but if you’re among the other 179,500 residents of Imperial County, you might want those decisions to be made by elected representatives sworn to uphold the public good.