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Voice: Countering the water-marketing goals

June 22, 2001

The existing and proposed water transfer policies of the Imperial Irrigation District are "water marketing" oriented.

The water marketing goals include:

(1) Market as much water as possible and at the highest price.

(2) Make as much profit as possible.

When these goals have been achieved, all the ag water in Imperial Valley will have been marketed.

The water marketing approach is "pro-landowner" and "anti-agriculture" oriented.

The water marketing plans include:

(1) Have IID water under state jurisdiction.

(2) Have defensive transfers based on "wasting water" and "state appropriations."

(3) Allocate water to the gate.

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(4) Manage IID's entitlement water through the blocks of water owned by landowners.

(5) Landowners marketing their water on an intradistrict basis.

(6) Generating wet water by not farming (crop rotation/fallowing).

(7) After covering IID's overhead costs, the landowners receiving all the water transfer revenues and profit.

The water plans that I introduced to the IID board and the Water Conservation Advisory Board are "pro-agriculture" and "greater community" oriented, i.e.

(1) Establish that IID water is under federal jurisdiction.

(2) Eliminate the need for defensive transfers.

(3) Manage IID's water without allocating water to the gate.

(4) IID and not the landowners managing its entitlement water.

(5) IID continuing to hold the water rights in trust for the benefit of the landowner.

(6) Generating wet water by "growing crops using less water" (true conservation).

(7) Excess revenues being recognized and used to finance greater community plans and projects.

CLIFF HURLEY

El Centro

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