Rancho Guejito Tapped Groundwater Deep in San Pasqual Valley. Some Farmers Aren’t Happy About It.

Hank Rupp stands on the edge of a holding pond on the historic Rancho Guejito — more than 22,000 acres purchased nearly 50 years ago by the now-deceased shipping mogul Benjamin Coates and considered by many the ecological crown jewel of San Diego County.

The 20-foot-deep reservoir — fed in part by several 1,000-foot wells dug on a more recently acquired property — is vital to the transformation of Rancho Guejito into a working agribusiness.