By David Zetland
From Aguanomics – Thursday, July 7, 2011
Coalition response… Your understanding of the complexity and cost associated with measuring farm water deliveries seems to be short on facts. There is no comparison of the task required by the measurement portion of SBx7-7 to an urban smart meter. Farm water deliveries occur in much higher volumes and through a variety of conveyance structures that in most cases were not originally designed to measure water at the accuracy now required by law. The new structures that will be required to accommodate accurate, verifiable results are not even close to a simple meter on the typical one-inch pipe serving a house.
Unit Cost estimates were based on the actual purchasing experience (bids, purchase, etc.) of a water supplier in 2008 (adjusted for inflation). These costs were seen to be an entry-level cost, with no automation or telemetry. They are in line with both vendor projections and the experience of other water supplier project costs (IID Upgrades Options, 2007) whose mid-range option is $12,500 per turnout).
In addition, a vendor proclaimed during one of the public agricultural stakeholder committee meetings that he could build a device to meet the new measurement requirements for only $11,000. More recently he was dismayed to see DWR's estimate of $6,500 because he felt the estimate unfairly biased potential buyers against his product.
O&M costs are based on real world experience of successful measurement programs in the state. Information was provided by a number of water suppliers to assist the economists that were conducting the cost analysis.
Finally, your "bottom line" claim that "DWR is making up big numbers either because they want the money for themselves or want to block agricultural meters by making them look too expensive” is nonsense. What money is it that DWR is trying to collect for itself? In reality it is the districts that would pay the installation costs to the contractors doing the work. And asserting that the Department may be trying to block agricultural meters shows that you're unaware that the new measurement standards are a requirement of State law. DWR cannot change that.
You are welcome to deposit $20 for the pitcher of beer in my PayPal account.
By Bob Morris
From CA Independent Voter Network – Thursday, July 7, 2011
Coalition response… This author is repeating a myth about water allocation when he makes the claim that " Agriculture gets 80% of the water in California.” That is not based on fact. According to information published by the Department of Water Resources in its California Water Plan, agriculture accounts for 41 percent of the developed water supply. Eleven percent goes to urban users and the lion's share - 48 percent - is reserved for "dedicated environmental purposes."
It is encouraging to see his acknowledgement of the value agriculture provides in food production for people and as a major economic driver for California. That understanding will help consumers, policy-makers and the media better appreciate the industry that is so often taken for granted.
By Devin Nunes
From SF Chronicle – Thursday, July 7, 2011
By Heather Hacking
From Mercury Register – Friday, July 8, 2011
By Doug Obegi
From NRDC - Thursday, July 7, 2011
From California Water Blog – Thursday, July 7, 2011
By Alex Breitler
From The Record – Thursday, July 7, 2011
From Western Farm Press – Friday, July 8, 2011
By Spreck Rosekrans
From Environmental Defense Fund – Thursday, July 7, 2011