If the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors refuses to fallow land to generate water for transfer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says the federal government will simply take the water and not pay for it.
"It is very critical that IID make a decision and agree to a form of fallowing that best meets the needs of the district," Feinstein says in a letter written Tuesday. "If Imperial does not decide to fallow, there is a serious risk the Department of Interior will have no alternative but to suspend the (Colorado River) interim surplus guidelines. If this were to happen, then Interior could be forced to initiate proceedings to take the water IID had planned to transfer and there would not be any compensation."
The letter is addressed to IID board President Stella Mendoza.
"I strongly disagree with Sen. Feinstein's opinion that the only workable alternative is fallowing," Mendoza said. "The senator doesn't live in the Imperial Valley and she would not be affected by the negative economic impacts of fallowing, and unless she comes up with the appropriate funds to mitigate the negative impacts — and that amount has not been determined yet — she can take a hike."