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Palm Springs

September 26, 1988

Your quiet little brief "Palm Springs Cools, Thanks to Irrigation" (Science/Medicine, Sept. 12) deserves, I think, a little rumination beyond the upbeat implication that it is intrinsically good that Palm Springs is cooler. So, in contrast with the typical profile of an urban body of asphalt and concrete splayed to the sun and getting hotter, Palm Springs is getting cooler to the tune of 2 to 3 degrees. This, thanks to the widespread use of irrigation, said the article.

This evokes two comments: 1) That cooling comes from the evaporation of water. It means water in the sky; and the humidity during my last visit there was shockingly high. This was particularly discernable to me, because I was just returning to Los Angeles after a year and a half in southern New Mexico where the desert is still real because water is sufficiently scarce not to be profligately used to dress up one more desert in unnatural green clothes. And therein lies the second comment: 2) There goes our water! Don't tell them up there in Northern California!

EDWARD MULVANEY

Pasadena

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