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Cooperation on Water Issue

October 01, 1985

A spirit of cooperation is emerging among California's water interests, and The Times is right in encouraging more of the same (Sept. 16), "Water: a New Spirit."

This spirit may be best exemplified by the broad support that has been given by water, environmental and business groups from Northern and Southern California to a plan to coordinate the operation of the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Another important example also can be found in the dry but fertile Southern California desert where preliminary agreement has been reached on a conservation program that will improve irrigation efficiency in the Imperial Valley and make the saved water available to urban areas of the coastal plain.

If the spirit of cooperation in these two programs proves successful we may finally be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and an end to the bitter water wars that have left Californians factionalized, scarred and suspicious of one another. Water war wounds run deep, but they can be healed.

Ben Franklin's advice more than 200 years ago is applicable today: "There never was a good war or a bad peace," and peace is exactly what is needed if California's water needs are to be met and the environment protected in a timely and mutually acceptable fashion.


Los Angeles

Boronkay is general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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