Posted on | January 14, 2010 | 7 Comments
The reported voiding of the Quantification Settlement Agreement today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Roland Candee has put a concentrated bounce into what Southern Californian water managers have long fashioned as their “hard landing” after they were forced in 2003 by six less well-off states sharing the Colorado River to stop hogging as much as 962,000 acre feet of water above their legal allotment of 4.4 million.
In spite of unfettered urban development across the Colorado River service area in the lead-up to the 2003 cap, Southern California cities managed to reduce their reliance on the river in part by legalizing trades of water from the wildly well endowed agricultural rights holders of the Imperial Irrigation District and neighbors, who had between them 3.850 million acre feet of water. However, evidently not everyone in the Mojave farming community approved of the QSA. Imperial, in a bid to reaffirm its rights under the QSA, launched the law suit that looks like it has ended up voiding the very deal that it sought to protect.
While Imperial may be firing its lawyers right about now, the most sickening impact of the bounce may be felt with Southern Californian urban water suppliers, who fondly imagined that this particular “hard landing” was behind them.
This post has been updated. The decision has been uploaded.
Correction: the first version of this post quoted the Associated Press’s identification of the judge as Ronald Candee. Court documents show that his correct name is Roland L. Candee. Chance of Rain apologizes for the error.