For the past six months I’ve watched the rhetoric fly back-and-forth between small farmers and EID Director Greg Prada. I have to say, “I agree with Director Prada.”
Irrespective of the fact that Director Prada’s $49 small farm rate has been disproven by EID’s own staff (actually $514 per acre foot, annually) and irrespective of the fact that EID’s combined small farm + domestic irrigation programs have been cut in half (1568 to 717) when Director Prada claims small farmers have “quadrupled,” and irrespective of the fact that small farmers are consuming less water than two years ago (2.7 vs. 2.9 a/f per service) when Director Prada claims otherwise, I still believe Director Prada. Why? Because Prada was the sole director who voted against the Board’s “drought declaration” (1-to-4). What drought?
Recently, I learned that “residential” water use for the first quarter of 2014 skyrocketed 37 percent (71.8M to 98.1M c/f) according to EID’s General Manager Jim Abercrombie. Yet, Director Prada claims that residential ratepayers reduced their water consumption 5,000 acre feet from 2009 to 2013, annually. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against residences, but where is Director Prada getting his numbers? EID’s own Board of Directors has admonished Director Prada on several occasions for using his “EID Director, District 2” title for invoking his “citizen” Greg Prada “free speech” rights. Citizen Prada’s facts don’t add up. But, Greg continues to wave his magic wand over his statistics and facts and we all believe him as an EID director. Good for you Greg. You got us.
Finally, Prada said, “I am really, really burned that this whole small farm mess was made up by staff. We created this small farm rate.” Greg Prada has been wrong on virtually every count, except one. This mess was created by Director Prada and staff, not small farmers. I agree with Greg.
CRAIG A. SCHMIDT
Small Farmer, CO-OP Lead