Voice: IID power department gets benefits from water side

April 30, 2001

Response to Richard Marquez letter to Voice of the People on April 21:

The Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association would like to set the record straight. First, Imperial Irrigation District power rates are the second-lowest in the state of California — quite a feat in today's energy crisis. And for this we applaud the IID directors for their foresight and vision.

A significant amount of our electricity is generated by moving vast amounts of irrigation water ultimately to the farmers' fields. That is why there is a falling water charge between the water and power departments. The hydroelectric power is charged at about half the price prevailing on the open market.

The IID power department enjoys many advantages operating under the state water code because the IID is first an irrigation company. This allows the power department significant benefits, such as … relief from property taxes, no costs for easements, and less stringent regulations.


Finally farmers in Palo Verde pay about 39 percent of what farmers in the Imperial Valley pay for water ($39 an acre/year for all the water they need). Growers in Yuma pay anywhere from $12.90 an acre-foot to $30 per acre, per year, for 5 acre-feet. Growers purchasing water from IID pay approximately $99 per acre, per year, depending on cropping patterns. It is important to have your facts straight before making incorrect allegations.

As power and water users, let's do the best for all.




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