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California's Water Watch

March 31, 1993

Congratulations to The Times for its superb coverage of water issues during the seven-year drought.

Particular attention should be paid to the March 15 editorial that called for cleaning up the San Gabriel Basin, one of the most polluted in the United States. Cleanup of the basin has taken far too long. It has been 15 years since cancer-causing chemicals were found in the ground water. Since then one-fourth of the wells have been closed.

Though residents continue to receive pristine water, the valley's water boards until recently moved too slowly in cleaning polluted aquifers. Take the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, one of the Southland's largest. Two years ago a new activist board called for aggressive cleanup plans and championed a plan with the Metropolitan Water District that would clean up the aquifers and allow the MWD to bank water during wet years. For the first time the board went after federal funds. The result was inclusion in the Western Omnibus Water Bill and with that the possibility of receiving $25 million to $100 million in federal funds.

ANTHONY R. FELLOW

Director, Upper San Gabriel Valley

Municipal Water District and

Metropolitan Water District

of Southern California

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