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Voice: IID power department does subsidize water side

May 10, 2001

Response to John Hawk, "Voice of the People" on April 30:

First point: Mr. Hawk, you are right. The Imperial Irrigation District has the second-lowest rates in California (quite a feat in today's energy crisis). But having the lowest rates is even a better achievement and it can be accomplished by the power department not subsidizing millions of dollars to the water department. This savings can be used to lower power bills. (As power and water users, let's do the best for all.)

Second point: Yes, Mr. Hawk, the hydro plants generate clean, cheap electricity that helps keep the power rates low, but is not a significant amount. The hydro plants generate roughly a third of the power needed for the Valley, and the hydro plants run very little in the winter months. So why the falling water charge? "Just because" don't cut it.

Third: Mr. Hawk, you are right. The IID power department does enjoy many advantages operating under the state water code. That's one reason the power rates are low. You seem to imply that because of this it is OK to stick it to power rate-payers and charge more for the power to keep water rates low.


What happened to, "As power and water users, let's do the best for all"?

Finally: Mr. Hawk, your organizations are the ones that get feathers ruffled on the cost of the SAP. The Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association went on record as wanting to be charged the right amount, and since you opened a can of worms, it is only right to look at all the costs. After all, as power and water users, let's do the best for all.

Agriculture has been, and if we keep the water, will continue to be the lifeline of the Valley. But we as power rate-payers don't control the markets. We all have hard times. But hard times for some farmers is having to buy a new truck every three years instead of one every year, family vacation in Europe for one month instead of the two, having to rent out the condo in San Diego, etc, etc.

Fact: The power department does subsidize the water department, period Mr. Hawk, let's work together to keep water and power rates the lowest in the state.



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