Imperial Valley Farmers Brace for Potential Water Cuts

During Mark McBroom’s 40 years of farming in the Imperial Valley, he’s had to adapt to changing climate conditions and water availability. After California, Arizona and Nevada came to an agreement in May to reduce their Colorado River water usage, McBroom may soon have to adapt again. Imperial County is the driest in California, only getting 2 to 3 inches of rainfall every year. So, farmers in the region get the vast majority of their water from the Colorado River.

Colorado Conflicted About Cutting Its Water Use

Not everyone is a fan, including Andy Mueller, director of the Colorado River District. He doesn’t like programs that pay farmers to stop farming. Mueller also didn’t ask for the Inflation Reduction Act’s $125 million to pay the farmers he represents. Mueller’s organization exists to keep Western Colorado’s rural water away from growing cities across the Rockies.

State Sen. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, who chairs the Committee for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has a more nuanced view.