This story was originally published by KUNC.
California’s Imperial Valley is one of the few places where a 95-degree day can be described as unseasonably cool.
In the shade of a sissoo tree, with a dry breeze rustling its leaves, JB Hamby called the weather “pretty nice” for mid-June. Over his shoulder, sprinklers ticked away over a field of onions. Every few minutes, a tractor rumbled across the broiling asphalt of a nearby road.
Hamby is a water policy bigwig, especially around these parts. He helps shape policies that define how water is used by arguably the most influential water users along the Colorado River. Hamby holds two jobs – he serves on the board of directors for the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) and was recently appointed to be California’s top water negotiator.
And he’s only 27 years old.
The Colorado River is governed by more than a century of legal agreements, most of which were hammered out by generations of older wh... Read more