IID Responds to False Caims of Private Property Right Ownership of Imperial Valley’s Water

In what amounted to a routine request for more information, the clerk of the United States Supreme Court requested the Imperial Irrigation District to file a response to Michael Abatti’s petition for certiorari on Monday, April 26, according to a press release.

The following day, the Imperial County Farm Bureau issued a press release incorrectly suggesting that the US Supreme Court is concerned that the California Appellate Court’s ruling on the Abatti case would deprive Imperial Valley residents of water.

Among other things, the Farm Bureau’s statement and brief filed with the court suggested that Imperial Valley’s water rights are property rights enjoyed by those who own agricultural land and described doomsday scenario consequences if the Supreme Court does not intervene to create private property rights to water where none exist, according to the release.

Various users in the Lower Basin states of California, Arizona, and Nevada have contracts to divert water from the Colorado River dating back to the construction of the Hoover Dam. IID exclusively holds the contract with the United States to deliver water for beneficial use on lands in the Imperial Valley.