Colorado River Water: Abattis Lose Latest Bid to Pry Control From IID

Imperial County’s largest farming family has lost again in its years-long bid to gain control of valuable Colorado River water allocations associated with its land.

The Imperial Irrigation District on Tuesday won a motion to dismiss a case by Mike Abatti and several relatives, close friends and business associates that closely mirrored an ultimately unsuccessful series of cases they had brought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear their petition in 2021.

Hilary: Imperial Irrigation District Restores Power to Over 11,000 Customers

The Imperial Irrigation District has restored power to over 11,000 customers since Sunday when Tropical Storm Hilary arrived in the Coachella Valley. The agency said it received over 4,000 calls for service on Sunday and only 85 customers are still affected as of Monday night. But the storm’s initial impact on Friday night when monsoonal rains brought down 45 poles on a major transmission line and affected some 3,000 customers.

Imperial Irrigation District Appoints Jamie Asbury as New General Manager

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Board of Directors voted unanimously on Tuesday for Jamie Asbury, the current IID Energy Department Manager, to serve as the new General Manager.

According to IID, Asbury is the first woman in the district’s 112-year history to lead the district.

To Help Navigate Looming Water Cuts, Imperial Irrigation Hires its Longtime Rival from LA

One of the West’s top water kingpins is back, and in an unlikely new spot.

Jeffrey Kightlinger, retired general manager for the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, has been hired as a consultant by the Imperial Irrigation District, which in the past has been his bitter rival on Colorado River policy. The contract comes at a critical juncture, as seven states and federal officials ramp up negotiations over a long-term agreement to keep the massive but dwindling river and its reservoirs functional. IID holds the rights to by far the largest share of that water.

Kightlinger, 63, said of his new client, “It’s an intriguing thing … IID is obviously a big player, and I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I think it could work out well for both of us. “

Wiest Lake Reopens, IID Restore Water Flow

Wiest Lake has reopened to the public for recreational activities, the county of Imperial and Imperial County Department of Public Works announced in a press release on Monday afternoon, July 31. The county is thanking the Imperial Irrigation District administration and staff for its collective efforts in restoring water flow to the lake.

IID Looks To Improve Efficiency Of On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors took a hard look at their On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program (On-Farm) in the hopes that they can become more efficient at providing water efficiency savings for farmers.

IID Senior Program Manager Ben Brock, along with Water Department Manager Tina Shields, updated the Board of Directors on the lengthy and complicated process that the On-Farm program currently has perform in order to determine how much to pay farmers for the water they conserved during the IID Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, July 26.

The IID’s Water Rights – a Balancing Act of Responsibility and Sustainability

Water is the lifeblood of civilizations, and the management of this precious resource has always been a challenging task. The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) holds a significant stake in water rights, playing a vital role in water distribution and agriculture. This essay delves into the history, challenges, and strategies employed by IID to manage water rights responsibly and sustainably.

Meet the Colorado River’s Newest – and Youngest – Power Player

California’s Imperial Valley is one of the few places where a 95 degree day can be described as unseasonably cool.

In the shade of a sissoo tree, with a dry breeze rustling its leaves, JB Hamby called the weather “pretty nice” for mid-June. Over his shoulder, sprinklers ticked away over a field of onions. Every few minutes, a tractor rumbled across the broiling asphalt of a nearby road.

Hamby is a water policy bigwig, especially around these parts. He helps shape policies that define how water is used by arguably the most influential water users along the Colorado River. Hamby holds two jobs – he serves on the board of directors for the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) and was recently appointed to be California’s top water negotiator.

And he’s only 27 years old.

IID Opens New Conservation and Operational Reservoir

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors saluted the district’s completion of its newest water conservation and operational reservoir located just east of the city, which will conserve 400 acre-feet of water annually and provide water operational flexibility to growers in the valley’s Northend.

The new operational reservoir, recently dedicated by the IID Board as the Lloyd Allen Water Conservation Operational Reservoir, is the first mid-lateral canal reservoir constructed through IID’s System Conservation Program. It has a total storage capacity of 40 acre-feet and is located along the district’s E Lateral Canal — the longest in the district’s delivery system at 13 miles in length.

In addition to conserving water, the new reservoir supports the district’s On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program, providing improved water delivery service to growers.

The IID Board visited the site of the new reservoir on Friday, June 30, as part of a larger tour of water operational facilities in the Valley’s Northend.

IID Adds $10 million to Pay for On-Farm Conserved Water

Hoping to alleviate a perennial tug-of-war between the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Directors and farmers on timely payments for conserved water, the IID voted to provide revenue certainty to the On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program (OFECP) by approving $310.50/AF payment rate for all the 2023 conservation and authorize a budget amendment to increase the 2023 budget by $9.936 million at the regular meeting Tuesday, June 6.

The IID had agreed to a single payment rate not to exceed the $310.50/AF, and this would prorate the fixed budget of $41,399,800 to create at least 133,333 AF of conserved water, back in November 2022.

All is done to comply with the QSA that requires the IID to furnish San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) with 200,000 AF a year. The complaints the farmers have had with the IID was expending capital upfront to conserve water either through leveling, sprinkler, pump backs, drip, or tile, and then waiting months, or more than a year to get paid for the conserved water. Unfortunately, some of the costs never were reimbursed if paperwork requirements or water conserved did not meet the pre-set standards.