Water Relief

An end is in sight to the decades-long dispute over rights to the San Luis Rey River. Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution, authored by Supervisor Bill Horn, supporting a recent agreement between a city, a water district and five Indian Bands to share water from the San Luis Rey River.

The water agreement includes the La Jolla, Pauma, Pala, Rincon, and San Pasqual Indian Bands, the Vista Irrigation District, and the City of Escondido. It requires the federal government to provide an additional 16,000 acre-feet of water to the tribes and the region, while the cities are allowed to continue using the water from the San Luis Rey River. The agreement now awaits final approval from the Department of the Interior.

“This was one of the first things I worked on when I was elected to Congress,” said former North County Congressman Ron Packard at today’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. “It would be a shame to have to start over. We’ve waited 25 years to get to this point.” 

The dispute started decades ago, when the federal government illegally sold San Luis Rey water rights to Vista and Escondido after already granting those rights to the five Indian Bands. 

“I want to commend the cities and the Bands for coming to the table and getting this agreement done,” said Supervisor Bill Horn. “Having this issue tied up in court has been holding back too many valuable projects for our region. I hope the Obama Administration agrees.”