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State's Water Shortage

June 09, 1991

The column "It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature--Just Ask the Water Barons" (by Barrett McInerney, Opinion, May 21) castigates "bureaucratic water purveyors," accusing them of a variety of sins, not the least of which is trying to use the drought to persuade the public of the need for new water projects.

McInerney says he believes the current drought is a crisis fabricated by so-called "water barons" to push water projects. He appears to be oblivious to the countless signs of the drought's significant impact painfully visible throughout the state.

With or without the drought, virtually every water expert in the state agrees that we need more facilities if we are to avoid chronic water shortages in the future.

The state's population has been growing at record rates for as long as anyone can remember. And yet, development of water facilities stopped almost 20 years ago. The State Water Project was never completed and delivers only a fraction of the water it was designed to convey. Water projects that could have greatly mitigated the impacts of the current drought have languished on the drawing boards.

We don't need more divisive rhetoric. What we need are practical, intelligent solutions to the state's water problems. The people of the water community toward which McInerney displays such dislike are in the best position to help identify and implement those solutions.

JOHN P. FRASER, Executive Director, Assn. of Calif. Water Agencies, Sacramento

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