Judge L. Brooks Anderholt has denied an injunction filed by a local farmer that would have stopped the Imperial Irrigation District from taking part in a plan to prevent shortages on the drought-plagued Colorado River.

Anderholt issued his decision Thursday afternoon denying farmer Mike Abatti’s request for an injunction that would have effectively forbade IID from voting on a drought contingency plan based on a previous ruling by Anderholt that favored Abatti over IID and its equitable distribution plan.

Staff Writer Richard Montenegro Brown can be reached at 760-337-3452 or rbrown@ivpressonline.com

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Wally Leimgruber

Colorado River Compact

The major purposes of this compact are to provide for the equitable division and apportionment of the use of the waters of the Colorado River System; to establish the relative importance of different beneficial uses of water, to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of present and future controversies; and to secure the expeditious agricultural and industrial development of the Colorado River Basin, the storage of its waters, and the protection of life and property from floods. To these ends the Colorado River Basin is divided into two Basins, and an apportionment of the use of part of the water of the Colorado River System is made to each of them with the provision that further equitable apportionments may be made.
(h) The term “domestic use” shall include the use of water for household, stock, municipal, mining, milling, industrial, and other like purposes, but shall exclude the generation of electrical power.

As we read these read the information in the 1922 Colorado River Compact; I would ask you to now read the following from Judge L. Brooks Anderholt decision, referring to Case No. ECU07980 and his comments on page two starting on line 25-28:
One of the conclusions reached by this court in the underlying litigation was that legal title to the water received by the Imperial Irrigation District from the Colorado River rests with the District, but equitable ownership is tied to the land. Such equitable rights are appurtenant to, and restricted to the beneficial use upon the land, hence not severable from the ground any of the parties to this litigation, and not amenable to sale to third parties by any party to this case.

Many of us have who have followed CA Water Law, have grave concerns when the Honorable L. Brooks Anderholt, uses the word restricted, when “domestic use”, is clearly spelled out in the Colorado River Compact.

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