The latest vineyard on El Pomar is installing a large water main to feed the vines. Was this permit properly vetted by those responsible for our water future? Water drawn at this volume will clearly drop the water table significantly. The owners of that winery can write off added costs to drill deeper, costs to install a more powerful pump, heavier gauge copper wire to carry the added amps and so forth as legitimate business expenses, thus reducing their tax burden. All well and good: capitalism at its best.
But what about the neighboring communities? Is there a tax write-off for individual residents who have to spend more than $11,000 for a new well, a well not determined by their usage but by the demands of a thirsty industry? And not only is the water table dropping, but the quality of the water has significantly deteriorated as well.
Why is there not a more vigorous discussion as to the way our water must be managed? We are already at that stage where the aquifer is being drawn down at a faster rate than it is being replenished. Are we to wait until the situation requires serious rationing before some regulatory bodies begin to do their jobs?