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North's Water Woes Are South's, Too

April 17, 1988

On behalf of the Southern California Water Committee, I would like to thank The Times for covering the critical water issue. However, the overall tone of the article could lead Southern Californians into a false sense of security.

The article allays fears of an imminent water shortage in our Southland and instead refers to the drought conditions in Northern California. It is crucial for us to realize the direct effects their cutbacks will have on us.

"Without water there is no Southern California." That's the message of the Southern California Water Committee billboard referred to in your story. And it's a message whose meaning is valid. We hope it will capture the attention of every resident of this growing region before it's too late.

As your article reported, 75% of our water is imported from Northern California and the Colorado River. If their water supply is threatened, our supply is threatened. We can expect to feel the effects of a Northern shortage in the decisions made in legislation and completion of water transfer and storage projects.

Orange County, as well as all counties in the south, cannot continue to supply our residents with the water we need if the north is worried about its water supply and we are not.

This is particularly true when, as every year goes by, more and more of the Colorado River water we depend on to get through drought periods is being diverted to Arizona. Only when the public awakens to the critical situation we face in our water supply will we see implemented the necessary measures to ensure an adequate, reliable, high-quality water supply for this and future generations of Californians.

CARREY NELSON

Trustee,

Southern California Water Committee

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