Escondido, CA

Letters to the editor


Editor, Times Advocate:

The water districts often use the cost per acre-foot as a standard for water costs. It is not a difficult calculation to determine the cost of water delivered to your home in dollars per acre-feet.

The major costs are pumping, maintenance and overhead expenses – not water costs.

I receive water bills from three local water districts. Each District calculates their bill based on the units of water used in that time period. A unit of water is one hundred cubic feet. An acre-foot of water is calculated as one acre of surface area one foot deep. An acre-foot of water is 43,000 cubic feet. Therefore there 430 units in an acre-foot.

If you divide the number of units on your bill by 430 you will have the number of acre-feet you have used during that billing period. Divide the cost of your bill by the usage in acre-feet and you will now have the cost of water delivered to

Your home in dollars per acre-feet.

I did that for all three districts. Without identifying the District with the number, the cost per acre-foot ranges from a low of $3000.00 to a high of more $5000.00 per acre-foot. Metropolitan Water district presently charges about $1200.00 per acre-foot to the local water districts. You can see that $1200.00 per acre-foot is between 24 and 40 percent of the cost of water delivered to your home. (The lower figure includes an ag discount so it should not be considered typical.)

Poseidon (the soon to be operational desalination plant in Carlsbad) will deliver desalinated water to the districts at cost of $2,400 per acre-foot, which is double the price from Metropolitan Water District. But doubling the price of wholesale water will only increase the cost of delivery to your home by less than 30% – not a bank breaking increase.

A sure supply of water and you can take long showers again without feeling guilty! While it will not relieve the cost of water for field agriculture, it will permit the use of greenhouse culture to continue to expand. The dollar value of greenhouse culture is considerably greater than field crops in San

Diego County. More on that later.

JOHN SMYLIE, Valley Center

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Editor, Times-Advocate:

I respect Phyllis Knight’s right to boycott Ben and Jerry’s. I do the same to Chick fil A, as I think all churches should dump the ban against homosexuality in the same bin that they dumped the ban against eating shellfish or touching the skin of a dead pig, since it is just as anachronistically inane. I do the same with Hobby Lobby for their stand on providing insurance coverage for birth control. However some of Knight’s comments were so offensive and ridiculous I felt I must respond.

She said she had “found out they were intimately involved in another relationship with an organization that I consider evil and that preys on women and unborn babies.” She was, of course, referring to Planned Parenthood, although I think Ben and Jerry’s would be surprised to hear that their support for Planned Parenthood was an intimate relationship.

“Preys on women”? “Evil?” Worldwide, in 2012 Planned Parenthood provided STI/STD testing and treatment to 4.5 million patients (men and women). They provided contraception to 3.7 million. They provided cancer screening and prevention to 1.1 million. And, yes, 327,166 abortion procedures (less than 3% of their services–and none with federal funding.) [1]

Does Knight really want to return to the days when entire hospital wards were devoted to women who suffered botched abortions? Defunding Planned Parenthood will increase the number of abortions because it will decrease the availability of contraception. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, and Brazil has a much higher per capita abortion rate than the USA. The USA has a much higher abortion rate than Western Europe, where abortion is much more accessible. Making abortion illegal again won’t lower the rate of abortion, but it will punish women for having sex—perhaps that’s the real goal of the anti-choice movement.

Knight also accused the corporation (now owned by Unilever) as “discriminating against people of faith by purposefully not supporting organizations with religious affiliations…” Huh? So, unless I give money to the ASPCA I’m discriminating against strays? Unless I give money to Meals on Wheels, I’m discriminating against indigent seniors? She then quotes scripture that lumps agnostics like me with idol worshipers. Just because I do not subscribe to any of the currently popular patriarchal mythologies does not mean I am a wicked or evil person. Ninety-three percent of the members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences are also nonbelievers. [2]

Article 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, states “…the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”[3] Knight is free to practice her faith in any way she likes— as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others, including the right to a safe abortion.


*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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