EID’s water rate subsidy to small farmers is much greater than previously represented to the EID board and public by General Manager Jim Abercrombie.
On April 25, and again on June 23, Abercrombie represented to the EID board and public that small farm rate recipients pay $514 per acre foot of EID water and that residential ratepayers pay $1,055 per acre foot for EID water.
If only what Abercrombie reported on April 25 and June 23 was accurate.
On Aug. 6, Abercrombie tardily disclosed that in 2013 EID’s small farm rate recipients paid $186 per acre foot of EID treated water while residential ratepayers paid $1,304 per acre foot of EID treated water.
So instead of EID small farm rate recipients paying one-half what residential ratepayers pay per acre-foot of water, Abercrombie’s corrected numbers now demonstrate that small farm rate recipients really pay one-seventh of what residential ratepayers pay per acre-foot of water. And with EID’s 5 percent water rate increase in January 2014 (and another 5 percent rate increase already scheduled for 2015) the $1,118 per acre-foot lower small farm rate difference in 2013 will grow to $1,232 per acre foot lower in 2015.
For months I repeatedly have been castigated and publicly called a liar by many small farm rate recipients and others with anti-regular ratepayer agendas for claiming that EID’s rate differential between small farmers and residential customers is $780 per acre-foot. (This $780 difference is accurate based on water sold above 0.6 acre feet.) Many of those calling me a liar based their “proof” on Abercrombie’s now-discredited previous rate misrepresentations.
Far more important than the personal attack schoolyard name calling, the EID board on July 14 by 3-2 vote approved more than 40 further entrants to the small farm rate class based, in part, on substantially wrong small farm rate per acre-foot information from EID management. Adding dozens more small farm rate recipients will further exacerbate the 5 percent extra rates that 35,000 residential ratepayers already are paying to subsidize EID small farm rate recipients.
Residential ratepayers deserve far better from EID’s management and board than political rate favoritism and board votes tainted by materially, if not willfully, inaccurate information.
EID Director, Division 2