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'Staving Off Water Warfare'

June 19, 1987

Reference is made to your editorial (June 1), "Staving Off Water Warfare." As a director of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, I must disagree with your emphasis. I believe you are doing your readers a great disservice.

Hopefully, your newspaper recognizes water is more a political issue than a technical one. If you do not, we have a major problem in Southern California. Our northern friends cry "wolf"--and we in the south give them what they want in the form of money and legislation. They essentially laugh all the way to the bank--and vote against Southern California's needs.

You quote Sen. Ruben S. Ayala's (D-Chino) real goal as " . . . to get more water sent south by forcing the Deukmejian Administration prematurely to start construction of water transfer facilities in the delta." You infer that this is bad. If it is bad, it is in your mind, not mine.

Ayala has stated that was his goal from the start. He should be commended, not criticized for it. Perhaps The Times would like to sponsor legislation to give the south a reliable water supply, or do you wish this area of our state to be at risk? Perhaps your newspaper endorses taking water away from Southern California.

David Kennedy, director of Water Resources, has stated publicly that he will select a specific Delta Water Transfer Facility via evolution of the environmental impact process.

Yet, this is the same David Kennedy who advised the governor that he knew what the Delta Transfer Facility was in 1983 and which was incorporated in SB 1369 of the governor's water package. If Kennedy knew the facility in 1983, why doesn't he know it now? If he were not willing to build the Delta Water Facility in 1983 without legislation approved, is he willing to do so now? I don't know, but I doubt it. Perhaps your newspaper will ask him--yes or no.

Kennedy appears to be playing a political charade on the governor, the agricultural economy of the San Joaquin Valley, and the 15 million people south of the Tehachapi Mountains. Your newspaper appears to be buying the "con." It is your right to do so. I choose not to.

MICHAEL A. NOLAN

Los Angeles

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