More than a century ago, the federal government allowed Escondido and the Vista Irrigation District (VID) to build facilities that diverted approximately 90 percent of the San Luis Rey River away from the La Jolla, Rincon, San Pasqual, Pauma and Pala tribal bands. After years of litigation that began in 1969, all parties entered into settlement negotiations which resulted in the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act. Under this act, the federal government contributes 16,000 acre-feet of supplemental water imported from outside the San Luis Rey watershed, as well as other benefits. In a historic example of collaboration, on April 25, 2012, the Bands and Escondido and the VID notified the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of the Interior that they had made the settlement agreement required by the Settlement Act. However, under the terms of the Act, neither the supplemental water nor other benefits can be made available to the Bands, Escondido and Vista unless the settlement is formally approved by the federal government. This has not yet happened.
I encourage you to contact our federal legislators, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Congressman Brian Bilbray requesting their help in approving this win-win agreement. To obtain their contact information, please visit http://www.escondido.org/government-links.aspx