Nationalism on the Lower Colorado

The All-American Canal, which grabs water from Imperial Dam and runs it along the north side of the California-Baja border before delivering it to Imperial Valley farmers, was built at some great expense to replace the original wandering route that took the water south into Mexico before curving back north to US farms. The folks behind the project pushed it because they tired of letting Mexican farmers have a cut of the water before it got to US lettuce crops.

But maybe it’s about more than an unwillingness to share? Maybe it’s who the sharing was with? From the LA Times last month, a fun piece by Tony Perry at the reaction to the fact that the new US-Mexico Colorado River water deal calls for some of Mexico’s share of the river’s water to be delivered by the canal with that very specific name:

The idea does not sit well with farmers and officials in the Imperial Valley who believe that powerful outsiders are again ignoring the valley’s hard-fought water rights, this time in an effort to improve relations with the Mexican government.

“There’s a reason it’s called the All-American Canal,” said Kevin Kelley, general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, raising his voice for emphasis.