EL CENTRO — If Imperial County Superior Court Judge L. Brooks Anderholt rules that Imperial Irrigation District violated a previous ruling by agreeing to provide an extra 500 acre-feet of water to the Heber Geothermal plant, that decision could cost the district $3.6 million and then some.

The $3.6 million is the amount Heber Geothermal agreed to pay IID to conserve the additional water to be provided under the agreement, which does not create a binding commitment for the district to actually conserve the water. The deal would accommodate a planned expansion at the plant and was approved by the district’s board of directors on Nov. 18.

Staff Writer Michael Maresh can be reached at mmaresh@ivpressonline.com.

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Wally Leimgruber

Colorado River Water Lower Basin

BCPA Section 5

How the water is used:

In Arizona and California, Colorado River water is used for irrigation and domestic uses. In Nevada, the water is only used for domestic purposes.

The use of Colorado River water in the Lower Basin is governed by the Boulder Canyon Project Act. Section 5 of the Act refers to the contract requirement for Colorado River water; therefore, the contracts with the Secretary of Interior are referred to as “section 5 contracts.”

In these section 5 contracts, “irrigation use” means the use of mainstream water for the commercial production of agricultural crops or livestock, including use of water for other purposes related to agricultural activities on tracts of arable land greater than 5 acres. “Domestic use” means the use of water for household, stock, municipal, mining, industrial, and other similar purposes, but excludes the release of water solely for generation of hydroelectric power.


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