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Southern California's Struggle to Meet Its Water Needs

November 28, 1987

The Times editorializes that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was justifiably outraged when the Imperial Irrigation District offered to sell it 100,000 acre feet of water annually for $250 per acre foot.

What I believe is outrageous is MWD's attempt to bully IID into better terms by conducting a concerted political, lobbying and public information campaign.

MWD's chief economist has admitted in sworn testimony in recent hearings that MWD supplemental water has a value of about $530 per acre foot (solely to avert a 15% water shortage in the year 2000).

When water which costs IID $9 is worth $530 to MWD, there is plenty of room to reach a negotiated agreement, but not if recriminations continue to fly between Los Angeles and El Centro.

THOMAS J. GRAFF

Senior Attorney

Environmental Defense Fund

Berkeley

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