Water Wars: How 20 California Families Control the Colorado River

Water Wars: How 20 California Families Control the Colorado River

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In the heart of California's desert lies the Imperial Valley, a fertile oasis that produces some of the country's most bountiful crops.

But the valley's abundance comes at a cost: It relies on a massive diversion of water from the Colorado River, one of the most overallocated rivers in the world.

At the center of this water war are 20 farming families who control more than one-seventh of the entire Lower Basin flow of the Colorado River.

That's more water than the entire city of Las Vegas uses.

The Imperial Valley Irrigation District (IID), which manages the water supply for the valley, was established in 1911.

At the time, the Colorado River was seen as a limitless resource, and the IID was granted vast amounts of water rights.

Over the years, the IID has used its water rights to expand its operations and develop new farmland.

The valley is now home to some of the largest and most profitable farms in the country.

However, at what cost?

But the IID's water grab has come at a cost to other users of the Colorado River, including downstream states and Native American tribes.

As the river has become more overallocated, these users have been forced to cut back on their water use, while the IID has continued to use its full allotment.

The IID's water use is also having a devastating impact on the environment.

The Colorado River Delta, once a vibrant ecosystem, is now a barren wasteland, largely due to water diversions.

The IID has defended its water rights, arguing that the valley's farmers provide essential food for the nation.

But critics argue that the IID is using its power to enrich itself at the expense of others.

What are your thoughts about this?

In recent years, there have been growing calls for reform, including calls for the IID to give up some of its water rights.

The IID has resisted these calls, but the pressure is mounting.

The future of the Colorado River is uncertain, but the IID's role in the water war is likely to continue to be a contentious issue.

As the river becomes more stressed due to climate change and population growth, the IID's water rights will become even more valuable.

It remains to be seen whether the IID will be willing to share its water with others. But one thing is clear: The status quo is unsustainable.