Water Shortage, Higher Prices Doom Escondido Farmers

Rising Water Prices, Dwindling Supply Spell Disaster for N. County Farmers

As the state deals with a water shortage crisis, local farmers are faced with tough decisions. Reduce their useage to take advantage of a 15 % discounted rate, give up the discount or give up the farm. During a meeting with the San Diego County Farm Bureau, growers were told higher water rates are in their future.

The 15 % discount, will be phased out by 2013 as the State of  California grapples with a severe water shortage. "I don't think there's any going back," said Michael Hurley, an environmental consultant for the Farm Bureau told the North County Times.

More than 500 farmers attended the Ag Water Summit at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.  "They are trying to get rid of agriculture in California," said Rosalie Caso, who owns a 20-acre avocado grove in Fallbrook. Water rates could go up by 50 per cent in the next 5 years. A man leaving the meeting said: "We're finished."

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