Average prices in 1987 are strong at $1,800 per acre-foot, but fall well below $1,000 per acre-foot in 1988 and remain under $1,000 (and at times under $100 per acre-foot) until 1995, when they climb to $1,500 per acre-foot.
Aside from a few exceptions, prices generally range between $50 and $200 per acre-foot. These exceptions include 1988, when prices dipped into the $20 range, and 1992 and 1996, when prices jumped to over $300.
We converted all prices into dollars per acre-foot of water for comparison across time and contract type.
The prices are per acre-foot, and the amounts are the annual flows during the first year of the contract as described in the Water Strategist.
The result is that water costing the federal government upwards of $300 per acre-foot
is pumped through open, unlined irrigation ditches, where much of it evaporates or seeps out because it is too cheap - to the farmer - to be worth the cost of protection.
In addition, surcharges are assessed on all CVP water used of up to $6 per acre-foot for irrigators (conditioned on ability to pay) and up to $12 per acre-foot for all M&I uses.
In contrast to other provisions of the CVPIA that create incentives to conserve water and to protect and enhance fish and wildlife, the act dedicates approximately 1.2 million acre-foot of CVP water - nearly 20% of normal year deliveries - to fish and wildlife.
An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, roughly enough to sustain a family of four for one year.
An acre-foot, the equivalent of 325,851 gallons, is the amount of water needed to cover an acre to a depth of one foot.
is nearly 326,000 gallons of water.) Ideally Mexico would deliver an average annual amount of 350,000 acre-feet.
Demand for water over the next 20 years is expected to increase from 500,000 to 680,000 acre-foot
. The system is expected to reduce the area's dependence on imported supplies, offer a hedge against drought and recharge the region's sea-water intrusion barrier.
The cost per acre-foot
of all three phases of the program is estimated at $1,003.