EL CENTRO – 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 nation’s largest ag-to-urban water transfer to help California manage its use of the Colorado River, three groups-Protect our Water and Environmental Rights (POWER), the Barioni parties and Cuatro Del Mar-challenged IID’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 today’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.
“This settlement agreement is important, because while there are certainly issues that remain outstanding between the parties, I think there is a broader recognition that – after more than a decade of litigation – those issues won’t be resolved through continued legal action,” said Kevin Kelley, IID general manager. “A better path forward is to find the things we can agree on and move ahead in a concerted and collaborative way.”
July 2013, California’s Superior Court issued a judgment, validating the QSA agreements and dismissing the CEQA case.