In response to a letter from Carter C. Bravmann (April 10) relating to the water supply in Southern California:
As the author of SB 200 and with all due respect to Mr. Bravmann, I offer your readers the other side of the coin.
Bravmann says, "Had Senate Bill 200 been ratified by the voters of California in 1982 and the Peripheral Canal been built, the cost burden to the residents of Southern California would have been staggering."
He goes on to say, "Using simple arithmetic, one would divide the number of MWD customers into the $11.6 billion that project was supposed to cost (a low estimate), multiply that by .7 (70% of the cost would be financed by MWD customers) and come up with a figure of $3,000."
For conversation's sake, let us assume all the figures are accurate, which would mean there are 2.7 million customers in Southern California. Yet Southern California does not have a population of 2.7 million, but 12.9 million in 1980 and 14.1 million in 1985. Giving Mr. Bravmann the benefit of the doubt, I presume the cost to be for a household of approximately five persons.
Now you must ask yourself how the $3,000 per household total cost is paid off. It is not amortized instantaneously, but over a 40-year period. Thus the cost would be $75 per household per year, or $1.25 per beneficiary per month. If this cost of $1.25 per month is staggering, I would ask Mr. Bravmann to explain what is not.
Numbers can be manipulated many ways. Words and rhetoric will not solve California's water supply problems. Foresight and vision will.
SEN. RUBEN S. AYALA
Chairman, Senate Committee of Agriculture and Water Resources