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'Birdbrains' Let Water Go to Waste

February 16, 1992

As an architect and world traveler for more than a half century, I thought that I had heard and seen everything until I read the article (with the accompanying illustration) showing a cross section of the Santa Ana River basin and the aquifer ("Gentle Raindrops Welcomed," Feb. 8).

What startled me was (the statement): "Prado Dam . . . cannot be filled to capacity because water would cover the habitat of an endangered bird."

How long will our lives and country continue to be ruled by these birdbrains? Apparently they do not know that we can live without gold and diamonds, but water is our lifeblood; and as far as the little (least Bell's vireos) are concerned, the Scouts would be glad to pick up eggs from the nests and deliver them to a hatchery.

It is extremely important to keep the aquifer saturated with fresh water to resist saltwater penetration. Let me cite an example: A number of years ago a canal was proposed to cross Florida from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Work was actually well under way when it was halted because the salt water in the canal would penetrate the Florida aquifer running the entire length of the state at a depth of approximately 150 feet and providing fresh water for the entire state.

So let us stop this nonsense about not impounding the precious rainwater behind the dam and stop letting billions of cubic feet of fresh water spill into the ocean where it will be lost forever.

CARL G. LANS, Huntington Beach

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