Imperial Irrigation District

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Imperial Irrigation District
District overview
Formed  1911 (1911-MM)
Preceding District California Development Company
Type Irrigation district
Headquarters Imperial, California

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) was formed in 1911 under the California Irrigation District Act to acquire the properties of the bankrupt California Development Company and its Mexican subsidiary.[1] The IID had acquired 13 mutual water companies, which had developed and operated distribution canals in the Imperial Valley, by 1922. It is currently based in Imperial, California.

Prior to 1942, irrigation water for the Imperial Valley was diverted from the Colorado River near Pilot Knob into the IID-operated Alamo Canal (also known as the Imperial Canal). Since 1942, water has been diverted at the Imperial Dam on the Colorado River through the All-American Canal, all of which the IID operates and maintains.

The IID also remotely operates the Brock Reservoir by opening and closing the inlet and outlet gates and regulating the amount of water diverted into the reservoir and returned to the main system.

The district also supplies electricity to residents of the Imperial Valley including the cities of El Centro, Calexico, Holtville, Brawley and other small towns in the area.

Imperial Irrigation District Electricity provides electric power to more than 145,000 customers in the Imperial Valley and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. As the sixth largest utility in California, IID Energy controls more than 1,100 megawatts of energy derived from a diverse resource portfolio that includes its own generation, and long- and short-term power purchases.

Salton Sea[edit]

With a "looming environmental and public health crisis" at the Salton Sea caused by the 2003 sale of Imperial Valley water to San Diego County Water Authority, the district sent a letter to the California State Water Resources Control Board in 2014 asking that the board sponsor negotiations to get the state to fulfill its obligation to stop the deterioration of the sea. Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, had issued a report that the lack of replenishment water was leading to a "period of very rapid deterioration." With the increased shrinkage, they predicted that dust storms would increase and a rotten-egg smell could reach to the coastal cities.[2] In the water sale, the district agreed to sell a portion of its mammoth allotment from the Colorado River for 45 years. This has led to a reduction in agricultural runoff needed to replenish the sea. During the first 15 years, the irrigation district has been required to put water into the Salton Sea to compensate for the loss of runoff but that portion of the deal goes away in 2017, which could lead to the sea rapidly shrinking.[3]

Settlement for blackout[edit]

On August 7, 2014, IID agreed to a $12 million settlement with NERC and FERC for problems related to the September 2011 blackout.[4]


One official, Anthony Sanchez, resigned his position on the water board in 2012 after he turned himself in to police on suspicion of child abuse. The arrest occurred after a videotape was released that allegedly shows Sanchez beating his stepson, in his back yard, over a game of catch.[5]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]