Prop. 141, if passed, could hinder municipal agencies' abilities to provide dependable water service. The Times' endorsement of this ill-conceived initiative ("Warning Signs," Oct. 15) is built on the false assumption that consumers are not now told what is in drinking water.
Indeed, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and its 1986 amendments are intended to ensure water quality and appropriate notification to consumers. As a result of recent state legislation, water agencies already issue extensive annual reports to their customers listing chemicals that may be found in drinking water.
Prop. 141 will place unnecessary roadblocks before water agencies that use chlorine to keep attached algae and other growth from obstructing water flow in pipelines and canals, even though this disinfectant may continue to be used in the drinking-water treatment process. Without smoothly flowing waterways, the limited amount of supplies available to Southern California will be further constricted.
It is essential that water agencies, such as the Metropolitan Water District and its 27-member public agencies serving 15 million Southern Californians, be allowed to provide a dependable water supply. Prop. 141 presents an obstruction to this basic need.
General Manager, MWD