Nowhere do I find any reference to farmers owning the water that is allotted to the water district. This the way I think it works the Bureau of Reclamation by law owns the water of the Colorado River. The bureau by law allocates a certain amount of water to the states adjoining the river. California, Arizona, Nevada, etc. are by law allotted X number of acre-feet. So the state of California owns the water allotted.
I am not sure how it is transferred to the water districts. I think the allotted water is sold by the state to water districts like the IID, who in turn sell it to the consumer. Nowhere does the farmer own this water until he buys it from the IID. Here again is another case of the county supervisor and the IID board trying to slip it to the non-farmers again (the public).
As far as fallowing, the farmers should not be paid by the district. A lot of this land is marginal and shouldn't be farmed in the first place. The only way that it is farmed is because of huge quantity of water available.
This November it is time to vote in non-farmers in the IID directors and the county Board of Supervisors. When this happens the Imperial Valley will grow and become more productive. Until that time the farmers will continue to fight any industry or business that wants to come to Imperial Valley.
An example is Holtville. Just drive down Main Street and see what farmers can do for a city.