A group of local landowners has long asserted that they also own the Valley’s water, and not just as a legal matter. Going back to the pioneer days, they point to the struggle and sweat equity of those tough beginnings.

According to IID notes, in 2007 local landowner Rod Foster questioned who owns the assets of the IID, including its water rights. He said, “What about the people that paid for it, which were the landowners? … Their efforts, the money they paid for, is just gone, it becomes public funds? … [T]he landowners of this county developed the irrigation system, the gates, the canals, on the landowners’ back; they paid the bonds. What you’re saying is that money doesn’t go back to the landowners; it goes to the public?”

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