Major water projects have always been financed by the people who use the water — farmers, homeowners, industrialists — through monthly bills. The one exception is for so-called public benefits, such as fish protection and recreation. Everybody pays for that. Now, Republicans are proposing that the state general fund pony up with money collected from all taxpayers from Crescent City to Calexico. This previously seemed like a bad idea to me. Why should taxpayers in Orange County pay to irrigate excessive almond orchards in the arid San Joaquin Valley, especially when much of the crop is exported to Asia?
-Written by LA Times columnist George Skelton.