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Managing Water in California

December 03, 1988

Your editorial should be underscored by the fact that roughly 50% of California's "true" water resources, in a normal year, is left free to run into the ocean. Water resources here have been politicized to the point that this is so, and we're left to "manage" only one-half of the resource. That being true, as well as the fact that most "water folks" and politicians do not have the stomach for any more water debates, we are left with the reasonable task of becoming better managers--on the great farms in our agricultural areas and in our urban centers.

With irrigation accounting for the bulk of our water use, we of the Irrigation Assn. can offer a significantly developed base of both product technology and education to achieve effective water use (conservation). In cooperation with California's Office of Water Conservation and our university system, the Irrigation Assn. offers water users many solutions and techniques by which success can be achieved. We encourage "fairness and balance" by the decision makers, coupled with a system of pricing water to create rewards for those who conserve and penalties for those who waste.

At the same time, we must take into account the economic reality of the value of water needed to create our $16-billion agricultural bounty as well as the economics of water needed to sustain our urban landscapes, recreational areas and industrial base.

Water made California great. Better management of this resource will keep it so.

WILLIAM R. POGUE

Past-President

The Irrigation Assn.

Arlington, Va.

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