Voice: Don't listen to Cox

elect IID directors opposed to fallowing

October 23, 2001

The water marketing interests emerged in Imperial Valley in the following order:

(1) The Elmore group

(2) The Don Cox group

(3) Bass Bros./Western Farms

Before the historic Western Farms meeting at the Imperial Irrigation District auditorium in El Centro, I was passing out a "Save Our Water" paper when a Don Cox supporter rather irately told me that he was for Don Cox.

The Elmore group supported the Western Farms/"Responsibility" group but they were not members.

The Coalition supported the Don Cox group.

In the melodrama that followed, Don Cox was cast as the hero and Western Farms was the villain.

When Don ran for re-election, his campaign slogan was: I'm for true conservation.

Knowing that (Don Cox) was the "godfather" of the first fallowing program in Imperial Valley, he was never my hero. The Metropolitan Water District rejected this fallowing program. It was the same as the one MWD had entered into with the Palo Verde Irrigation District in the Blythe area.


One main difference was the Blythe landowners owned the water rights of the water within the PVID.

In the Imperial Valley, the water rights are held in trust by the IID for the benefit of the landowners.

Don Cox is back to his old ways and his statements include:

(1) To the Water Conservation Advisory Board:

— We can probably get away with fallowing in the beginning. But I don't know about long-range.

(2) Letters to the editor:

— Fallowing may be the only way to pull off the deal.

— The landowners/growers in Imperial Valley need a fallowing program like they established in the PVID

The first fallowing program was a two-year "test program." The new fallowing program is long-range.

The fact that the landowners do not own the water rights within IID is a major factor.

We need to recognize that IID's water rights are held in trust by the district and protect that trusteeship.

We need to elect IID representatives who oppose fallowing.


El Centro

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