A decade-long negotiation has been in the works to assure the inhabitants of the seven states receiving water from the Colorado river get their fair share. The entire crux of the multi-state deal involving the annual allocation of some 15 million acre feet of water has now come down to the relocation of slightly more than one percent of river's flow.
But, the Imperial Irrigation District had concerns about the agreement and was the only district of the four involved to reject the water transfer plan.
Shortly before the New Year, officials in the Imperial Valley drafted a different agreement which was more to their liking. The other water districts waited at the ready to sign if the deal could meet muster. An official from the Interior Department even flew to California to be on hand if the deal passed.
But, it was not to be. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California expressed concerns that this last minute deal wreaked of the problems which plagued California during the energy crisis in 1999 and 2000. Particularly problematic was the lack of a price cap on the water transferred and the ability of the Imperial district to back out of the deal in twelve months.
The current water slow down is not of immediate concern to the Metropolitan Water District which, according to officials has a two year supply of water in reserve.