Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement
The agreement has been associated with a high level of litigation, with many parties and organizations filing petitions in California state courts. On December 8, 2011, the California Court of Appeals for the Third District ruled in favor of the major public and federal water authorities and found that the Quantification Settlement Agreement was not contrary to the California Constitution. Opponents also argued that the deal violated the state`s Luftre clean Air Act, but that claim was also rejected.  In July 2013, the Sacramento Superior Court issued a final judgment upholding the agreement and dismissing all outstanding challenges, but the San Diego County Water Authority still expects a new round of appeals.  Although the agreement entered into force in 2003, it was almost immediately challenged by local farmers` and environmental groups.  Despite these challenges, the water transfers described in the agreement started on time and the canal coating conservation projects were completed. The Coachella Canal Lining project was completed in 2006 and the All-American Canal Lining project was completed in 2010, saving 93,700 feet of water per year. While these conservation figures are important for the agreement, the total amount of water transferred to water authorities will increase significantly in 2018.  The implementation of the agreement has been controversial, as critics have argued that the agreement was adopted without an adequate environmental assessment. The environmental impact has been invoked by opponents who argue that the agreement`s policy seriously harms the Salton Sea and the Colorado River. In addition, a prolonged drought affecting the state of California has made it more difficult to debate an effective water control policy.
Before the agreement, the environmental impact on the ecologically fragile Salton Sea was relatively low. In the event of a court decision, the conditions remain in effect until the age of 75. The quantification settlement agreement for the Colorado River was concluded in October 2003. This landmark agreement provides California with the opportunity to conduct water transfers and supply programs that allow California to live within the basic annual distribution of 4.4 million feet of colorado River water. Opposition to the deal has focused on two main groups: Protect Our Water and Environmental Rights (POWER), an environmental organization, and local peasants in the Imperial Valley.  POWER has come out in favour of traditional water-saving methods, such as reuse and recycling in urban areas instead of water transfer from Salton Lake. The salinity of the lake has increased significantly and conservationists claim that this has damaged the surrounding ecosystem. Restoration efforts have been supported by local politicians, as the Salton Sea is known as California`s largest man-made lake.  In addition, the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, a training and professional development organization, wrote positively about this agreement. In an article, Jim Lochhead says, “By forcing California to live to the best of its ability, it gives certainty that our ability to develop water in the Colorado Basin River is safe for now.”  The CFWE is headquartered in Denver and, due to the importance of the Colorado River outside of California, has a different perspective from the QSA. . .