(IID strongly opposes Assembly Bill)….AB 854 is authored by Assemblyman Chad Mayes.
The Imperial Irrigation District Directors agreed to send the Assemblyman a letter. The letter outlines the District’s strong opposition to his bill. In the letter the District says it is their contention that the bill is seeking to fix something that has demonstrated effectiveness over the past 85 years. The lengthy letter outlines several issues in the bill. The letter says the most troublesome of all the legal obstacles AB 854 faces is the change it seeks to achieve in the ownership of IID’s water rights. The District says the IID has defended its water rights for more than 70 years against various attacks that have led to decisions by the United States Supreme Court affirming the nature of IID’s water rights. The letter says AB 854 would transfer control of the IID Board of Directors to Riverside County, a political subdivision of the state holding no water rights of its own, thereby giving full control over IID’s water rights to board members elected by voters from Riverside County. The District says neither the IID Board nor its residents can allow this to happen. It goes on to say a cynical view would lead one to believe that such is the real intent of this proposed legislation. Perhaps it is an unintended consequence of AB 854, nonetheless it is a real threat and unacceptable.