Â The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors reported today a unanimously approved release and settlement agreement with three litigants in the Quantification Settlement Agreement validation lawsuit.
Following the 2003 approval of the QSA, which initiated the nationâ€™s largest ag-to-urban water transfer to help California manage its use of the Colorado River, three groupsâ€”Protect our Water and Environmental Rights (POWER), the Barioni parties and Cuatro Del Marâ€”challenged IIDâ€™s approval of the water conservation and transfer project with the San Diego County Water Authority, alleging, among other things, violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.
In todayâ€™s settlement, the district agreed to waive cost recovery and collectively pay the parties $500,000, ending their case that had been before the 3rd District Court of Appeals.
â€œThis settlement agreement is important, because while there are certainly issues that remain outstanding between the parties, I think there is a broader recognition that â€“ after more than a decade of litigation â€“ those issues wonâ€™t be resolved through continued legal action,â€ said Kevin Kelley, IID general manager. â€œA better path forward is to find the things we can agree on and move ahead in a concerted and collaborative way.â€
July 2013, Californiaâ€™s Superior Court issued a judgment, validating the QSA agreements and dismissing the CEQA case.