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Importance of Water Hearing

July 19, 1987

On behalf of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, I would like to call attention to one of the most significant events in many years affecting the future availability and uses of California's water resources. The event is the start this summer of the Bay-Delta Estuary hearings conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The entire hearing process will be conducted in three phases over three years, with Phase I scheduled to start this month and run through December. Most of the hearings will take place up north, but for four days, Aug. 11 to 14, they will be at the Registry Hotel in Irvine, beginning at 9 a.m. each day.

I believe that quite possibly they may be the most important hearings concerning our county to have been held in the last decade and perhaps for the next 10 years as well.

The board is responsible for water quality and water rights throughout the state. During the hearings, the board will review all beneficial water uses, including fisheries, wildlife, recreation, salinity control and the exporting of water for municipalities, agriculture and industry.

The Bay-Delta Estuary provides about two-thirds of the water used in California, so the outcome of the hearings would have a major impact on where that water goes and how it is used.

As this region's Colorado River supply is cut back and diverted to Arizona, even more water will have to be imported from the Delta to offset the loss.

The Phase I hearings in Irvine are especially important to our region because they will focus on the municipal and industrial export uses of water in this region.

If anything short of a drought should command our attention to the subject of water, this is it.

In addition to the sworn testimony of expert witnesses, time will be provided Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. for public comment. We desperately need the public's show of support. The people of Orange County and Southern California must impress on the board just how very important a reliable, high-quality water supply is to our economy, our life style--our very existence.

LUCIEN D. TRUHILL

President,

Orange County Chamber of Commerce

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