The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) hosted a special ceremony to dedicate a new water conservation and operational reservoir in honor of Lloyd Allen, a former board member who left a lasting impact on many in Imperial County. On October 11, his legacy and contributions were celebrated before a gathering of friends and family.
This reservoir is named as a tribute to Lloyd Allen’s lifetime achievements, leadership, and advocacy. He was a five-term board member of IID, a resident of Calipatria and the Imperial Valley, a successful businessman, a farmer, and an influential community leader. Lloyd Allen was a tireless advocate for Imperial Valley’s water rights, having served as Chairman of the Colorado River Board of California. He also played a crucial role as IID’s representative in shaping numerous agreements that impact water usage throughout Southern California and the Southwest.
Gina Young Dockstader, IID Division 3 Director, spoke about Allen’s dedication to the Imperial Valley, saying, “Whenever he was in Washington D.C., whenever he was in Sacramento, he put the farmers’ perspective and he told their story. He used his platform to provide comfort to the people of the Imperial Valley and get the story out of how important the water was here.”
The Lloyd Allen Water Conservation Operational Reservoir is situated to the east of Calipatria and is designed to conserve 400 acre-feet of water annually while providing operational flexibility for local growers. Former IID Director James Hanks recalled Allen’s unwavering commitment to conservation efforts, describing him as the driving force behind those initiatives.
Jesse Silva, former IID General Manager, highlighted Allen’s strong commitment to water conservation and the importance of negotiating favorable terms for the Imperial Valley’s water usage. David Osias, IID’s water rights counsel, remembered Allen as a brilliant and principled individual, committed to his community and core values.
The newly constructed reservoir is the first of its kind in IID’s System Conservation Program. With a storage capacity of 40 acre-feet, it is located along the E Lateral Canal, which is the longest in the district’s delivery system, spanning 13 miles. In addition to its water conservation role, the reservoir supports the district’s On-Farm Efficiency Conservation Program, enhancing water delivery services to local growers.
Lloyd Allen played a pivotal role in the negotiations leading to the 1988 Water Conservation and Transfer Agreement between IID and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He also contributed significantly to the finalization of the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement and the IID/San Diego County Water Authority water transfer program, which were signed two decades ago this October.
Throughout his career, Lloyd Allen represented IID on numerous water associations, including the California Farm Water Coalition, Association of California Water Agencies, Colorado River Water Users Association, and National Water Resources Association. He served as IID’s member of the Colorado River Board of California, acting as Chairman and Colorado River Commissioner for California.
Lloyd Allen, who served five terms as IID Division 3 director, was not only a dedicated public servant but also a respected Calipatria resident, City Council member, accomplished businessman, farmer, and a prominent community leader. He passed away in May 2006 while actively serving as a director. His contributions to water conservation and the Imperial Valley continue to be celebrated and remembered.