Lloyd Allen announces candidacy for re-election

November 30, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

CALIPATRIA — Lloyd Allen wants to finish some of what he's helped to start.

The long-time Imperial Irrigation District director, and local farmer, will seek re-election to the IID Board of Directors. He's currently in his fourth term.

One of the issues he'd like to see come to fruition is the pending transfer of conserved water from the IID to the San Diego County Water Authority.

Allen, 72, said the transfer originated when the Bureau of Reclamation decided it was time to quantify the IID's water rights, which for decades has been elastic, that is, there is no firm amount of Colorado River water to which the district is entitled. Rather, the variable amount is based on the so-called Law of the River and contracts between IID and Reclamation.


Allen said it was smart for the district to take a proactive role in the transfer to preclude any kind of legal challenge to the district's water.

"It's best for us to try to protect ourselves, and protect our water rights," he said Thursday.

Allen also discussed such issues as fallowing, the district's efficiency study, the potential for a lawsuit to revert the Imperial Valley's water rights to farmers from the IID board, how much the community should benefit from the transfer and the potential for pay raises for district employees.

Regarding fallowing, for either restoring the Salton Sea of for the IID/San Diego transfer, Allen said he is opposed to it. He said he would like system savings to be used for the first four to five years of the transfer. With the resultant revenues, Allen said the district could then improve the efficiency of the district's delivery system, thus allowing farmers to more readily conserve water and participate in the transfer.

On the issue of water-transfer benefits to the community, Allen said system delivery improvements would benefit all water users. Allen said it would be acceptable by him if cash were to be set aside, but it would have to be controlled by the IID board.

Also on the water transfer, Allen said there needs to be a resolution to the issue of moving the water from IID to San Diego. Under the IID/San Diego agreement, San Diego is required to secure transportation for 45 years, the initial term of the 75-year deal. San Diego only has a 30-year agreement, however.

Allen said he would like to see San Diego get a 45-year agreement, and that if moving the water through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California system results in monetary losses to MWD, that MWD be compensated but not by IID.

There also needs to be a resolution on the price of water to be paid by San Diego. The transfer agreement establishes the price at $249 an acre-foot, but one of the factors used to derive the price is the cost San Diego will pay MWD to move the water. The San Diego/MWD exchange agreement includes a higher price than the transfer agreement, technically reducing the price per acre-foot.

Allen said the price should be $249 an acre-foot.

Regarding the efficiency study, Allen said he agrees that governance issues need to be looked at, and that the board is too involved with the day-to-day running of the district.

Allen was asked to comment on the recommendation that the board authorize an independent economist review of studies dealing with the impacts of fallowing in the Imperial Valley and of the various conservation measures to be proposed for the IID transfer. Allen said he does not appreciate becoming informed about such a recommendation through the newspaper instead of ahead of time.

On the issue of employee pay raises, Allen said the board has made its offer known to employee representatives through management negotiators.

Allen was originally elected in 1982 for a four-year term. He lost re-election, and was then elected four years later, and twice after that.

He said he considers his accomplishments to be the 1988 IID/MWD conservation agreement, the excellent condition of the district's power system, the water transfer, the recent purchase of geothermal power and the ongoing pipelining of canals.

If re-elected, Allen said he would like to see the transfer happen, peace on the river, a reduction in the district's involvement in the lower Colorado, a granting of the so-called miscellaneous present perfected rights claims, the lining of the All-American Canal and two reservoirs built along the All-American Canal.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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