The Times is to be complimented for its editorial (Aug. 12), "Raising the Water Ante," which put into perspective both the status and the importance of an innovative program that would help stop water waste in the Imperial Valley and at the same time provide Southern California with needed future supplies.
Unfortunately, the status of the program is on hold. Negotiations between the Metropolitan Water District and the Imperial Irrigation District have stalled over a few issues, including costs. In addition, there has been an election that will seat two new members on the Imperial board of directors next year.
Even with the delays, however, the idea of Southern Californians financing water conservation projects in the Imperial Valley in return for the water saved remains a good one. Such an effort would provide significant benefits to the valley's farmers as well as Southern California's 13 million residents.
In a broader context, the program is also good for all of California. It serves as an example of how the state's valuable water resoures can be effectively and efficiently managed.
As chairman of Metropolitan's Water Problems Committee, I remain optimistic that this effort will go forward and that the benefits for everyone will outweigh voices of skepticism.