How the Colorado River’s future could hinge on a little-known California election

Colorado River bend near mouth of Forbidding Canyon

By Sammy Roth | The Desert Sun

A few thousand votes in California’s Imperial Valley could have major consequences for millions of people who depend on water from the Colorado River.

Imperial Valley voters will decide June 5 whether to remake the board of directors of the Imperial Irrigation District, or IID, which controls the single largest share of Colorado River water. Three of the five seats on the agency’s board are up for grabs, and local farmers are opening their wallets to influence the results. The outcome could change the way IID manages its water, with ripple effects across the Southwest, from big cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix to agricultural areas like the eastern Coachella Valley.


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