We are "gardenhead" customers of the Modesto Irrigation District. A pipeline loops through our neighborhood and serves 10 parcels with a combined total of about 10 acres. The ditchtender comes every other Saturday morning and opens the valve on the MID lateral to supply water to our pipeline. It takes him about a half hour, including travel time. That evening a ditchtender comes and closes the valve on the lateral, another half hour. The ditchtenders are now through with us for two weeks. They will do this a total of 16 times this irrigation season.
These gardenhead parcels each pay a $147.50 minimum fee for irrigation service, a total of $1,475 for a combined 10 acres. Compare that with a farmer watering 10 acres. His cost is the $147.50 minimum fee plus the $29.50 per acre irrigated water fee. His total cost for 10 acres is $442.50. We pay $1,000 more than the larger farmer for the same amount of water and the same amount of ditchtender time. Our cost per acre is $147.50. His cost per acre is $44.25 one-third of our cost per acre. A hundred acres costs $31.
How can anybody in their right mind think that we, the gardenhead customers, are being subsidized?