now that’s some high value water

I can think of few better uses for water that growing avocados. Can you?

Escondido is planning to build a $6 million pipeline, set to debut in 2015, that would redirect water bound for an ocean outflow and convert it into recycled water for avocado farms in the eastern portion of the city.




  1. Looks a lot like corporate welfare carefully wrapped in an thin layer of astroturf.
    Do you suppose the lone recipient of the recycled water is paying anywhere near the actual cost of the product delivered ?

  2. Chris – Thanks for the comment.

    I’m curious what a discussion might look like in which, rather than using pejorative slogans, you accept that that there are legitimate community values driving this project. In this hypothetical alternative universe, my hypothetical Chris doesn’t have to agree with the people who want to subsidize water for avocado farmers, he just has to take them seriously and discuss their disagreements, rather than assuming bad faith.

    Just curious what that conversation might look like, as an alternative to the way you’ve framed the issue, and whether that might represent a more productive approach to working out these deeply held differences about how to best manage scarce water.

  3. John, my comments are not meant to be either disparaging nor belittling (ie perjoratve) rather they are my opinion based on the information provided in the link you offered.
    I would agree with you that there are “legitimate community value(s)” IF the lone recipient were not ONE privately owned business benefiting from an expenditure of taxpayer/ratepayer dollars.
    If the recycled water was being used to irrigate public property then a “legitimate community value” would be realized.
    If as you surmise the recipient is actually paying the total actual cost involved in the delivery of the recycled water to the avocado’s then you are right and I am wrong.
    Prove me wrong.

  4. Chris –

    You don’t get to decide what their “legitimate community values” are. The members of the community decided for themselves. They’re the community making this decision, the ones putting up the money, and they seem to have decided that they want to continue to support agriculture in their midst, and are willing to pay for that positive externality.

    Read what I wrote. I didn’t “surmise the recipient is actually paying the total actual cost.” As I wrote, I surmise that this community has decided it values agriculture in its midst enough to subsidize it, and asked you to consider why it might sincerely want to do that.

    Lots of communities, including mine, do this. There are legitimate arguments to be had about whether this is the right thing to do with our money and our water. My concern in raising the issue with you has nothing to do with the substance of that argument, pro or con. It has to do with the value of civil discourse about the difficult set of societal questions about how we value water. That discourse is not helped along by pejoratives like “corporate welfare” and “astroturf”.

  5. Wait a sec. $6 million for pipes that will deliver recycled water from existing/new facilities and NOT for free, i.e., “McKinney noted that recycled water is 20 percent cheaper than potable water in his district. Eventually, as more recycled water is produced, it could be 30 to 40 percent less expensive.”

    So my question is what percent of cost recovery are they getting here. It’s not necessarily a give away!

  6. “I can think of few better uses for water that growing avocados. Can you? Yum”
    What was this intended to be? snark ? sarcasm ?
    What response were you hoping to elicit ?
    You don’t like my choice of verbiage ? OK.
    I read your blog regularly and have little disagreement in general ,but John, you’re flogging a dead horse here.

    My elderly mother lives in Oceanside.
    I tend to follow current events there almost as closely as I follow current events effecting my home in the primary zone of the Delta.
    To the best of my knowledge voters and ratepayers were not given a chance to see a cost/benefit analysis much less participate in a vote to approve or disapprove this project.
    As we seem to agree that recycling waste water is generally a positive move, all that remains is to ensure that those receiving the benefit are paying a commensurate share of the cost.
    You and I have no right to determine “legitimate community values” for those residents affected so that point is moot.

    Perhaps I am a bit jaded and cynical when discussing water related infrastructure, but, can you blame me ?
    I’ve lived my life in the Delta and my livelihood depends on it’s health.
    I’m bombarded continuously with B.S. propaganda and illogical arguments designed to con the Ratepayers/Taxpayers of the state into paying the majority of the expense to build water projects while receiving only a fraction of the benefits.
    In a “user pays” society that dog won’t hunt, or if you would prefer, this is unacceptable.

    It’s your blog, you get the last word. 🙂

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