Like a scene out of a two-bit crime movie, elected officials from the Imperial Valley were blind-sided by highwaymen, and highwaywomen, from the governor's office last week.
In no uncertain terms these officials — board members on the Imperial Irrigation District — were told to "seriously consider" the use of land fallowing as a means to generate water for transfer to rich urban areas and to save the Salton Sea. IID officials were summoned to talk water transfer and fallowing.
The words "seriously consider" are merely code words for "do what you're told."
Interestingly, the transfer and fallowing are based on fear.
The IID fears the failure to cooperate with the massive movement of water out of the Valley would expose the Valley's water rights to years of expensive legal struggles likely to reach the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, the state — and the IID's so-called Southern California water agency partners — tremble at the thought of the environmental lawsuits that will be filed if the transfers damage the ecology of the Salton Sea. They just want the water, not the hassle.