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Shortage of Water

May 19, 1988

I want to applaud Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky for taking positive stands in dealing with our water shortage and our shortage of sewer capacity. Certain observations should be made about both stands. Industrial, commercial and residential use of water in California amounts to 15% of total water usage. Agriculture uses 85%. A 10% "voluntary" reduction in our use has a 1.5% effect on the total state.

Why should agriculture also not be burdened with a 10% voluntary reduction? Why should only urban jobs be lost due to water-use cutbacks in industry when water usage for agriculture north of Bakersfield is not even metered?

Does it take a lack of water for coffee for Southern California voters to understand the realities of the water issues in our state? Less water usage does not mean a cost savings for homeowners because water system fixed costs will be spread over a smaller amount of water, which means we pay more per acre foot.

Reduction of sewer impact activities should be equally spread over all segments of our economy. A cutback should be allocated among residential, commercial (including hotels), industrial, as well as new construction activities. Where is the sense of urgency to complete improvements at our sewer facilities? Surely the construction workers who will lose their jobs could be employed constructing new sewer facilities. Work on our new sewer installations should proceed in order to avoid a loss of jobs and negatively impacting our economy. Money is available and should be spent expeditiously. Fewer new sewer connections mean a reduction in connection fees from developers.

SANFORD P. PARIS

Encino

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