Meant to write about this earlier.

I quite enjoyed Mr. Carter’s compilation of the annual pay of the top employees at Westlands Water District. I wasn’t too surprised. I agreed with Mr. Kurtz in the comments, that the managers are being paid market scale for their political skills and connections. Fine. I was mostly interested that the growers in the district are willing and able to bear the cost.

Assuming 570,000 irrigated acres in the district:

Tom Birmingham alone costs $0.60 per acre every year.
Jason Peltier alone costs $0.30 per acre every year.
The ten managerial positions mentioned by Lloyd Carter cost $3.10 per acre every year.

When LAO and Professor Howitt posit a public goods or user fee for agricultural water, they suggest imposing a per acre fee. Prof. Howitt suggests the laughably low fee of $2 per irrigated acre. Westlands growers, at least, are willing to pay more than that to have a powerful water district.

I couldn’t find a cost for providing shade to farmworkers, on any scale. But if I ever do, I’ll have something to compare it to.

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